I do find that the news can be a source of inspiration. Sometimes a comment or word combination I hear will lead to a poem that is independent of the original story. Sometimes the tone of the discussion will lead to commentary. Less frequently, I end up writing about a specific event. I wrote the following last year upon the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, who had come to be referred to as the "Lion of the Senate".
The Lion's Share
The youngest wasn't groomed to lead.
He was last in line; there would be no need.
Order was turned upside down by tragedy.
He became family patriarch in his thirties.
He guided those who were left behind.
He built the legacy; he had the time.
Now, he can rest with the others,
no more fights to be won.
The lion's share of the work is done.