The Poetry Bus Ripped from the Headlines

Niamh is the driver this week & has given us a very interesting task – to write a poem based on a smallish no-account newspaper article. Well, I didn't really comply with the directions, but I hope she'll let me lash myself to the roof of the bus anyway! The story I picked isn't small exactly – although if we think in international terms it might be. You can read the article here, but the gist of it is that a thirty-something young woman has been arrested for pretending to be a 14 year old boy in order to "lure" teenage girls into a sexual relationship. After reading a few other articles I'm not sure about her culpability – perhaps the teenage girl wasn't as in the dark as she is being portrayed. I don't know, really, but this story seems to have a great many sides, some of which remind me of Salem, a bit. Anyway, here's what came out of my head after I put the article in it.


It's lies & intrigue
If they only knew
That black hole
In my heart

It's complicated
This illicit or innocent
Longing for

It's weary-making
Which mask is
More true
Less me

It's my soul
Stripped bare
My lightless heart
Your judgment


  1. When I first saw that picture I thought to myself, what a sad looking woman. That seems to be the face of someone that is carrying a lot of pain. Your poem is wonderful and sympathetic without taking sides.

  2. Insightful words. It's sad that someone's pain leads them to do something so desperate. Ouch all the way around.

  3. There is something haunting in her eyes that I think your poem captures in words. Profound.

  4. I want to say that I like that poem, but it's so dark ... hmm, I'll say I appreciate its dark beauty. You always capture the twists and turns of emotions so well.

  5. what a sad story and a stirring poem. and yes, she does look like she's carrying a lot of pain. want to read and reread this one. your poem i mean.

  6. Good work!

    I like the black hole...and the lightless heart. Good, good, good.


  7. The best poetry goes places where the rest of us hesitate to tread and this is the best poetry.

  8. Yikes! It's easy to make judgments, but this is really sad, isn't it? A cry for help? Great way you got inside her head, Bug, and really good title.


  9. Really fine work, complex and challenging.
    Good one, and as with Jessica, I'll be back to re-read.

  10. Excellent poem. It's so hard to know what really goes on - so easy to trust what we're told and to judge people on nothing at all. I hope she finds her peace.


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