St. Brendan’s Community School, Birr, Co. Offaly

Judgement Scars

You are worth more than judgement.
Words can scar, leave an indent.
Define ‘pressure’: you are not good enough, school s***,
Teachers, parents, friends, teenaged bulls***.
Do that, wear this, look like that, listen to this
15 and never even gotten a kiss?
Popular, unpopular, straight, gay.
There just words, they don’t stay.

 

Anon

 

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer

 

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer!
What even is that? Give me an answer.
A healthy man all his life,
Grandkids, children and a wife.

Tests, doctors, consultants, operations
Why are there so many complications?
Three weeks in a James hospital bed,
Feeling weak, alone, ill, almost dead.

CAT scans, biopsies, ultrasound, splenectomy,
How is this happening so fast? Please tell me.
Stage one, two, three or four?
Lord, please tell me you have a cure.

Every three weeks off to Tullamore oncology,
Why my grandad? He’s owed an apology.
Chemotherapy, infusions, such toxic things
Tired and sick every time I ring.

My poor grandad, losing his hair.
He’s my best friend, how is this fair.
“Des, I love you, please be okay”,
We will get through this, someday,
I pray.

 

Orla Maher

 

 

“Society”

 

We live in a society,
Where everyone is judged,
Constant looks and whispers under your breath
“He’s q****, he’s weird”
Give it a rest
Get over yourself
We are all different
Acceptance is key, there’s no denying
We’d all be much happier
If we all were more accepting
So forget the homophobia and the racism
And let’s all live as who we are
In a “free” world.

 

Anon

 

Public Perception

 

Public perception,
The longing for anonymity.
What people think I am is not really me.
Desire for isolation,
Hatred of loneliness,
It’s not a big deal,
Nothing like homelessness.
In a society that is what’s preached,
Be mindful, open up, but not to me.
“I have my problems, can’t you see?”
The problem with people is their trust,
The urge to gossip is more than a lust.
The curse of the world is contrasting beliefs.

But can’t you see comparison is a thief.

 

Anon

 

Music

 

Music speaks what words can’t express
It portrays your feelings, happiness and stress
Listened to or played its impact is strong
The notes make you feel like nothing is wrong

An answer to your questions
A search for meaning
Teaches life’s greatest lessons
Portrays many feelings

The lyrics, the notes, the keys and the sound
Block out everything else around
Relaxing and comforting it soothes the brain
No harsh words are spoken in vain

Music speaks what words can’t express
It fixes and solves any mess
Without music – life wouldn’t be complete
Let it take you on a journey,
Sit back in your seat.

 
Máire Brennan

 

Friend and Foe

 

I once had a friend, a best friend,
She one day started to make my life feel like hell,
She would tell my class I smelled.
I was called more hurtful names,
Fat, obese, elephant, bitch, ugly,
Told I was not good enough,
Told I would go nowhere in life,
But go rot in hell.
People now call me the quiet one, but some day
Very soon everyone will know why I kept quiet
But why hurt myself when I am happy with my diet.

 

Anon

The Place

 

The place where the church rules supreme
Where everyone gets on or sop it may seem
You salute people you’ve seen a few times
But don’t actually know
This is the place you love
You call it your home
You’d chat to the lads on weather or work
The countryside is the best place in the world

 

Anon

 

Make a Mark

 

With the school boarding the plane
Landed in Italy to make a mark
First day was quiet
When the second night came up the town we went
Got the few pint, sang a few chants
We definitely made a mark
On that small town, down by the lake

 

Jack Ryan

 

Who Even Cares?

 

I am far from creative,
I may do well in tests or exams
But I hate when people say I’m smart
I hate using my imagination,
I’d rather just do algebra.
This makes me sound boring but I’m not,
I don’t know what I am really.
I’m a ballerina who wants to
Be a farmer and wear make-up.
I definitely don’t want conform to society because,
Now that would be boring.
I like being weird
And I like the way people can’t really make me out,
Even myself.
I don’t plan on changing for anyone.

 

Anon

 

Pressure

 

Pressure today is a scary weight
The sort of weight on all young people’s shoulders
Sometimes we just need a clean slate
Pressure coming in all shapes and sizes
Its pressure that pushes elders to a mid-life crisis
They say; “go on try do it for the craic”
Then some people call you a p**** and chicken behind your back
Pressure from parents to do well in school and be perfect
Try your best, but the best isn’t good enough
‘Cause sometimes it’s just tiring, always being perfect
Pressure on yourself to always look good and look a certain way
But sometimes you just don’t want to be the same.

 

Anon

 

Physical Health

 

Personally, I like exercising,
But I see how some find it traumatising.
Some people just hate it,
But I’ll try not to overrate it.
It’s not about how you feel during it,
But how I feel after it.
It is something there should be more in schools,
But to no surprise, obesity is on the rise.
It’s a bit hit and miss
But one thing that is important is our physical fitness.

 

Darragh Larkin

 

It’s Funny

 

It’s funny, you used to spend every second talking to me,
You got mad at me when I asked for space,
So I sacrificed it for you.
You controlled me, it was a break, an escape,
I couldn’t take it anymore.

That night wasn’t my fault,
I didn’t make the move,
I was drunk I told him to stop,
It’s funny though because somehow I’m getting all the blame

It’s funny,
Even though you say you want to be friends,
Even though you say you want to forgive and forget,
You remind me of what ‘I’ did everyday

It’s funny now,
You still control me,
You get to move on now while I have to wait,
Reminding me of what ‘I’ have done

 

Anon

 

School

 

When I was younger I bloody loved school,
It was a place where I could relax and act the fool,
Like arguing about who scored the goal in football,
“That was my goal, f*** off or I’ll smash your head off the wall”

Now though, I wake up dreading the sound of the morning bell,
Double German first two, I’m basically in hell.
Hanging around with two faced people who act like they’re my friend,
A lot of the time I’m far from happy, but it’s easier to pretend.

Now, school life is so tough,
Sometimes I feel like I’m in cuffs.
I wish I could go back,
To being with proper friends and having the craic,
Back to when life was so easier.

 

Anon

 

Do Your Own Too

 

I’m not popular but I don’t have to be.
I do my own things that people think are weird.
People jeer me about it, but I don’t care,
I kayak and cycle, but if you don’t like it,
You can jog on home.
I do my own things, and you can do your own,
I have friends that are great,
They don’t do drugs or smoke fags
But they do their own things,
And you can do your own.

 

Callum Doonan

 

I Knew Something Was Wrong

 

At the age of 7, I knew something was wrong,
My parents would talk but it meant nothing at all,
They would talk about bills, food, money
But it was never “how are you honey?”
Shouting matches became a common thing,
I would sit there waiting to hear birds sing

I’d sit in my room and wait for it to stop,
But 8 years later it was still a flop,
So my dad said goodbye and before I could think,
He had packed all his stuff except the kitchen sink.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad,
Every week I get to see my dad.
We get on great, and we have great chats,
But I really would love for him to come back.

 

Edel Hoare

 

No Title

 

Daddy why can’t you come home
Daddy why can’t you come home sober
Drunk, angry daddy doesn’t love mammy
Drunk, angry daddy doesn’t love me.
I wake up every morning to sober daddy
I go to sleep every night wondering
Where drunk daddy could be
My daddy isn’t like my friend’s daddy
I’m not daddy’s little girl.

 

Anon

 

No Title

 

They don’t care.
They don’t see the hurt they cause,
The impact they have.
Where’s their morals?
I thought they were raised right?
Good families and good homes.
But no.
They just laugh and jeer like nothings
Wrong, nothing matters. We don’t matter.
The weirdos, freaks, people below them.
Irrelevant. Unimportant.

 

Tara Fanning

 

No Title

 

Our TY year is almost over
At the end of the night we won’t be sober.
Three months full of sunny days,
Jumping in the river while music plays.
September comes, we’re back to school.
Missing summer and swimming pools.
Studying for exams, there so much pressure
Being told grades decide our future.

 

Anon

 

School

 

School is so negative
It’s full of judgemental people
You can’t be yourself or you would be laughed at.

Its shit, reminds us of prison.
No one wants to be here because it’s a fear.

A fear of being judged, a fear of not being
Able to speak your mind, or even be yourself

School is shite…
But we have to deal with it
To be successful.
Life isn’t easy, but it has to be done.

 

Anon

 

No Title

 

Virgin Mary dressed in white,
Room full of sin in the dead of night.
Protests fill the air around.
Hand clamps down, “don’t make a sound”
Punches thrown, fist collided
Trying to forget the pain that has subsided
Foreign tears roll down her face
She accepted, “maybe this is my fate”

But I said no

 

Roisin O’Connor

 

No Title

 

So fake for God’s sake
Rumours, lies, listen to my cries
Tears in my eyes.
Friends? That’s really funny.
Knife in my back, just my life
Pretending now all friendships ending.
Sinking in sand I can’t find any land
Skipping school, summer, where are you?
16, it’s tougher than you think.

 

Anon

 

Irish

 

It shouldn’t be a language
We shouldn’t learn it in school
We won’t need it in the future
And we don’t need it now.

Yes, it is our culture
And culture is important
Irish could be fun
Once something big is done.

 

Anon

 

No Title

 

I’d come to school on
A black Monday
Morning where teachers
Would give you a warning about
The exams telling you too
STUDY STUDY STUDY
But all they really care about
Is the
MONEY MONEY MONEY

 

Anon

 

No Title

 

The weather is warm
Everyone’s in good form
Stay out all day
It’s some craic I must say
Everyone is out
And in the mood to shout
Drink some cans that’s the plans.

 

Michael Standish

 

GAA

 

I want to hurl for Tipperary
Even if the thought seems scary
To be under the high dropping ball
And have no fear I might
Let it fall,
I want to walk behind the
Artane Boys Band,
And climb the steps of the
Hogan stand to reach the promised land.
But at the moment, it’s just a fantasy
Hopefully one day it will be
A reality

 

Daniel O’Donoghue

No Title

 

School’s not for everyone
But if you don’t pass your
Exams you won’t get anywhere.
In life, my parents hate me if I “misbehave”
I’m stupid and because I’m not “book
Smart” or have a short
Concentration span there’s
Something wrong I’ll never
Pass exams. Teachers
Hate me “attitude, cheeky”
No maybe just trying to
Avoid academic attention,
Know the answer but
Afraid to say it what if
I’m wrong? So if I just
Say something I can’t be
Wrong.

 

Anon

 

No Title

 

Life is so precious,
It’s such a beautiful gift,
Some get it harder than others,
Sometimes life’s just not fair,
However, it’s not what happens to
You in life
It’s how you deal with it,
Look around you, be positive,
Speak to others, live life to
The full
Give thanks in all situations
Everyone deserves the right to live

 

Anon

 

Poems

 

I really don’t know
Why I can’t think of a topic for my poem
I think I’m not alone
But my imagination?
I have none
It might not be great
But it’s all I could create
Take from it what you want
But I really can’t write poems.

 

Jack Kennedy

 

No Title

 

Fake b******
Teenage problems,
Friendship breakups,
But nobody seems bothered

Schools full of pressure
Boyfriends high on drugs
Mistakes never forgiven,
It’s a circle that goes on
I feel alone,
But what can I do,
I don’t like talking about it,
This society is ruined.

 

Anon

 

Rugby

 

I look at the scrum,
The unknown makes me numb,
Alone on the wing,
I hear the whistle sing.
The ball doesn’t come back
We run forward, ready to
Attack, then goes rolling
The ball
Number 12 now has it stolen.
She passes it out
I give 13 a shout.
I run to the line,
The winning try had now
Been mine.

 

Niamh Cleare

 

No Title

 

Poems are hard to write,
Writing from left to right,
What to write about?
Feelings, life, my doubt,
Tongue tied bored mind,
I do not want it to be signed,
I am sick of writing this shit,
So I think of nothing as I sit.

 

Anon

 

Care

 

Girls go for guys
Hurling county minor
Pulling all the “b******” and
Downing pints of larger
Tight fit t-shirts
And an hour doing their hair
But girl don’t go for guys
That will actually care.

 

Kieran Riley

 

No Title

 

Heartbroken by a man,
Who was meant to be my
Protector,
“Shut up, you don’t matter,
I never wanted a daughter”
In school, I feel alone,
Panic attacks in the bathroom
And no one wants to talk to me
“She’s too quiet,
I think she’s fucked up”
“Jesus, don’t go near her, that one’s
F***ing mental”

Cheated on, lied to.
He’s still my only escape
When we’re good we’re great,
But when he’s doped from his
Anti-depressants, he might as well be gone
I’m left to pick up all the pieces,
Though I’m falling apart myself.

 

Anon

No Title

 

I didn’t talk to you but I just said ‘hi’
You were nice you talked back. That was the start
I liked how you looked, acted
I liked you were different when you were with me.

We started talk more and more
We got to know each other.
You talked to me everyday
I thought we were close

Then, it stopped.

You stopped talking to me
You treat me like dirt
Is it because you have a girlfriend?
That hurts.

Fragile masculinity breaks like glass.

 

Anon

No Title

 

You
Fall, break
Never move.
Mountains high, void low.
Life long, long

A rope long, end short, end fast

You
Stand, talk
You move.

I fall.

Rope, fast.
Long.

 

Anon

No Title

 

This school is a kip
Teachers don’t care about our s***
Told to open up
Yet all we do is judge
Hurt, pain
It’s all insane
Some people treat it just like a game
It’s tough at this age
Having all this rage
All these people are so fake
Friendships are at stake
Lies, cries and cutting ties
It’s all just absurd
Just let our voices be heard

 

Isabelle Davis

 

Poetry

 

The weather is hot,
The cans are cold,
The girls are out,
Young and bold,
Out all day,
Don’t go home,
Stay in the sun,
And write a poem.

 

Rory Carty

 

The Irish Education System

 

The exam is finished and the correctors correct
20 each and send them back to the official
Place. If too many people get good marks they
Make the correctors mark harder and then you don’t get as
Many points as you should because some cunt high
Up in the department decided why have more people
Getting the points they need to do the course they want
To do the job they want to have but there’s
Give out about the rate of unemployment. If
More money was pumped into education instead
Of building fancy roads, we don’t need to make
The country looks fancy, we’d be a lot better off.
But nobody cares what a teenager thinks.

 

Olivia O’Meara

 

No Title

 

She’s amazing, she’s great that’s
What her family says even
Though her life is at stake,
She’s happy, she’s smiling even
Though she is dying,
She’s OK, she’s fine, is what
She says though lies, we all
See the pain she’s in and
Look away as sin.
She’s hurt, she’s hurt, she’s broke, but
After all this is a joke
But no one will see the pain
She hides as we look away
In despise.

 

Anon

Poem on Love

 

I’ve been told to hope,
But I just can’t cope,
I’ve asked you to use,
But you just abuse.
I don’t want to lose,
But I’ve asked you to choose.
You’ve told me to move on,
But I can’t live on.

 

David Bourke

No Title

 

She looks around
And what has she found
Words tumbling through the air
Hair, pear, stair, chair,
Inspiration is everywhere.

 

Anon

Irish

 

I hate Irish, I find it difficult,
When it comes up to exams.
I think it’s a laughing stock.
Sometimes it can be amazing,
It can also be dazing.
Many teachers are hard to understand
As I stand.

 

Anon

 

No Title

 

Look good all the time,
Be unique, but follow the style,
Be smart, but also not too smart.
Be confident, but not to confident.

She doesn’t wear make-up; she’s let herself go
She wears make-up, why does she feel the need to
Look good? Her confidence is low.
Don’t give into pressure, have your own mind,
But don’t be “weird” or you’ll be left behind

Don’t worry about what they think
Just go out and drink
But not too much
No one likes a girl that’s too drunk

She has a boyfriend, as a result loses some friends,
Suddenly the relationship ends.
She’s left with no one, but the voices in her head
And sometimes wonders if she’s better off dead.

People say these years are the best,
Well if they are, she doesn’t want to live the rest,
She’s called a loser, slut, freak, bitch,
Who’d want to live a life like this?

But one compliment or an “are you ok?”
Can come her way during the day,
That one person who’s on her side,
Makes her feel like she’ll be alright

 

Dara

 

No Title

 

I’m told my life is easy
And it is, it’s boring. But
Everyone has their own problems’ that’s
Also something I’ve been told.
But mine are so small they hardly
Count in the scale of things
I should enjoy an easy life
But I want more to have more fun
And be different but I don’t
Think that, that is being me
And everyone says be yourself.

 

Grainne Heagney

 

Society Gone Wrong

 

You make yourself believe it’s always your fault,
Racking my brains to think what I’ve done wrong.
I’m too quiet, I’m too loud, I’m this and the other.
Perfection is a disease and I’ve got cold shoulder,
Why am I trying so hard to be a robot life?
Expressing myself who gives a shite,
Little did I know I was looking at it all along,
It’s society gone wrong.

 

Maisie Gleeson

 

Day after Day

 

We come to this prison,
To listen to the teachers.
Day after day, hour after hour,
If you miss one day,
You get a ring.
The uniform smells and sweats,
Just like a prison.
To go to the toilet
Is a right,
I think we should stand and fight.

 

Sean Thompson

 

“Him”

 

Sometimes he wakes me up,
Rather he keeps me awake,
He tells me yes,
“Yes”
The answer is yes,
Never no,
He sits with me at school,
Behind,
Beside,
In school, it’s no,
No, no, no.
He feeds me false memories,
Memories that seem real likes dreams,
I wake up and wish I was asleep,
Sometimes I wish I could sleep,
Not often though,
I am too afraid, so is he.
Tells me to sit quietly,
I tell him yes,
But in school it’s no,
School is a paradox.

I go home and look at him,
I hate him, hit him,
He hits me back on the opposite cheek,
My face hurts now,
I think too much
He thinks for me.

 

Mark Hogan