Salerno Secondary School, Threadneedle Rd, Salthill, Co. Galway

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This is a poem unfit for categorisation,
No title, don’t matter, we don’t need boundaries to draw our illustration.
Our lives enunciate more than a million colloquies,
No one else understands this life, my life, carrying all this debris.
Weight, Wait, Wait for me Society! Don’t judge, don’t budge.
Evolving to adapt to social standards depicted throughout the years,
No room to express our inner most provoking fears.
We are the misfits of this over-exaggerated “popular” culture,
All the oppressors of the public attack us like vultures.
Unable to fight back, we lay down submissive,
Cowering, helpless to the derisive laughter.

Rebekah McManus

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Useless information drilled into our minds
Nothing but the contents of the daily grind

Fighting sleep throughout this repetitive drivel
How will any of this be beneficial?

There’s no worth in using your imagination
Not in this mechanical rotation

Memorise it to regurgitate it in the exam
The whole six years feels like one huge scam

Get enough points and go to a good college
Maybe then you’ll be something to acknowledge

“Best years of your life,” they say in negligence
Yet another insult to my intelligence

Where it’s said you’ll gain a world’s worth of wisdom
The tired, tried, tested old system

Ella Thornton

Beyond the Sky

When I look up into the sky on a cold frosty night,
In the city the beauty is blocked by big bright street lights.
Moving further to the countryside,
Away from the noise and bustling rides,
I can see worlds beyond my imagination,
Which shine on the black canvas of the night sky.
Unimaginable creations, constellations shaped like a bullseye.

Planets, stars, galaxies and more,
I lie grounded to the earth, held back only by a door.
I want to sail beyond the seas and stars.
My first stop is the red planet, mars.
My troubles vanish, my worries disappear,
And I remember I’m only a dot on a blue rounded sphere.

To fly, to soar, to flee, to vanish.
Into the grand milky way,
At the end of the day,
Is just the beginning of our universe.

Molly O’Connor

Listen

I sit for hours filling my head with pointless information
I haven’t been programmed to work like a radio station
I want to learn
Who cares about numbers?
I want to learn about the world, real problems
Not this useless, no-good knowledge
Listen
This is the 21st century
Since when does acceptance have terms and conditions?
I don’t care about chemical formulas and algebra
Tell me about misogyny, bigotry, and homophobia
Everything that is wrong with our world
Listen
I want to help
I want to see equality and love
I don’t want to live in a world of hatred, malevolence and injustice
Stop pretending it doesn’t exist, like its someone else’s problem
Listen
Listen to people, to what they have to say
Listen
And stop pretending this is child’s play

Martha McBrierty

Escape

My escape, my cover, my cape
From a world needing a reshape.
Focused people, motivated minds,
A hardworking group of masterminds.
Accountants, lawyers, your average Joe,
We all come to just let go.

Sweat drips down, drop by drop.
I gaze at the puddle and stop.
My reflection shows not an image of perfection
But a projection of diligence and progression.
The machine bangs and squeaks but no longer do I weep.

The day has ended, I sigh with pride.
Muscles burning, my heart rushing,
But yet I am satisfied.

Aileen McCabe

Unfolding

We grow
Slowly unfolding
Each chapter of our wonderful lives
Some of us starve
Some of us die
We create and destroy
We laugh and we cry
This place where we belong
Where we love and hate
In equal measure
On each unfolding beautiful day
We can help and support
In our uniquely magical
Human way

Klaudia Tatol

Homeless

This is where I live now, on the cobbled streets,
Nothing but a sleeping bag to keep me off my feet.
Begging for change in an old plastic cup,
It’s getting harder each day and I want to give up.
Passers-by ignore me while I sit on the wet stone.
Oh why oh why did I take out that loan?
Shelter is scarce and there’s nowhere to go,
Last year I was safe, this is my ultimate low.
Why did I get myself into this difficult situation?
I wish I could afford some medication.
I look into homes where I see happy lives,
The chill is stabbing me like multiple knives.
I was happy last year in my own warm home,
Little did I know I’d end up alone.

Anon

The River

There is a river inside my mind
The water is clear and bright
I dive off my bed
Into its tumbling torrents of light.

I am engulfed in excitement and joy
I can see creativity
The fish that are there
And yet, they are not.

The river flows fast
But I cannot be harmed.
I am safe here.
I am home.
I am free.
Inside the river of my mind.

Anon

This Is Where

This is where we are judged for expressing ourselves and how we feel,
A place where we feel the need to follow the crowd like a flock of sheep in a field.
This is where we wait for the sun to come out from behind the dull grey clouds.
A society in which we can’t be inspired by nature or speak out to the crowds.
This is where we get so caught up in the past and worrying about the future,
We forget to live in the moment.
How come we can’t be happy unless every other person is our component?
This is where every day is a competition,
Where we compete to look, sound and feel better than everyone else.
A place where people feel they cannot be happy unless.
But, this can be a place where we learn to love and tolerate,
Not a place that lives off of hate.
This is where we can love and be loved, accept and be accepted,
If everybody tries to make a change,
Otherwise, this will be where we spend day after day
Waiting for contentedness in a world full of outrage.

Ruth Scarry

The Empty Path

Here, where the empty path lies
You have travelled to this place before
You have watched things slowly die.
Sandwiched between two brick walls
They tower over you, a thousand feet tall.
Smothered by pillows of lonely grey skies
Where darkness closes in like clouds over your eyes.
The hard wind blows down your shivering spine
You on soldier on forward down the never-ending line
You feel hopeless, like your drowning over and over again
Till you find that pale stillness when the path reaches its end
Until that day when the grey skies clear
And the empty path leads you from the forest of your fear.

Aislinn Reidy

16

I walk when I feel bad for doing nothing all day,
As I wander in the dark, my worries and fears fade away.

I used to play pretend and be free, still young,
I would jump off a wall into shallow water, in other words being dumb.

I always feel need and everyone supports each other,
Tackled and head locked all thanks to my brother.

I get scared to touch the cold side,
“Mom I didn’t drink”… I lied.

I get tempted to sleep, but wait they’re not done yet,
Surrounded by water, you must be ready and you better get set.

Deirdre McGee

Daydream

Yet again I look blankly at the ceiling,
To get lost in thought from the emotions I’m feeling.
This was my regular routine,
When I need a break to start daydreaming.
A break from all the stress in life at the moment,
I take a break and live in the present.
This was my regular routine,
When I needed a break to start daydreaming.

Sarah Melia

Sick

Flipping through Facebook, Instagram,
Looking at the “perfect” pictures
Of photo-shopped, unrecognizable beings,
Considered to be “beauty”.

She stands on the scale and looks in the mirror,
Wishing and praying that she could be thinner,
Desperately trying to make the numbers go down,
Celebrating the loss of each and every pound.

Food are just calories
And exercise beats dinner
In the sick game of points
Where the lowest number’s the winner.

Her clothes are to big now,
She’s always so cold,
“You’ve lost weight! You look great!”
Or so she is told,

By everyone but her real friends,
Who desperately try to get her to see
How beautiful she could be
If she defeated this sickness.

Scarring her family and scaring her friends,
Wondering when this reign of terror will end,
Until one day she slips a chip in her mouth,
It’s only a drop of water in the drought,

But we all held our breath,
And hoped against hope,
Dreading the worst,
But recovery is a long, long road.

Ailbhe Murphy

Provoking Memories Surface

This is where minds are developed,
Exposed to knowledge in which our minds are slowly enveloped,
This is where lifelong friends can be made,
Our unity represented by our woven French braids,
This is where our new experiences surpass the old ones,
Again and again we play them on rerun,
This is where the dusty old minds are brightened into rejuvenated clever ones,
Until the last day our last breath leaves our lungs,
This is where I begin my journey into the uncharted future,
Goodbye Present, get into the car, we’re going shopping losers.

Rebekah McManus

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I use to care what other people think
Society shams you because you drink
They forget we are young and we don’t over think
But what will it take to get society to blink
It can consume you so much you feel like you could just sink

But teenagers are not meant to rethink
They just do as they as they please and society expects us to sync
Sometimes you can’t explain it so you don’t put you words to ink

Teenagers should live their lives and not be judged
To make the most of every memory and to not give a fudge
Society can stop giving us that nudge

I use to care what other people think

Gillian Walshe

The Moment

I take the time to think about my problems
And search for new solutions.

Anxiety, confidence, what I should be
Leads to new confusion.

I escape from reality once in while
Focus on the now not the past or the future.

A place where I can escape, focus on each breath
I am in my element

I push my body to the limits of my imagination
I focus on the bar, the next breath, the next weight.

There is nothing else, but the moment
And when the moment is over, reality bites
There is only focus or the lack thereof
The struggle to not overthink.

Counting down the moments
Till the day is done.

Keela Mulhall

Scales

The madness begins in a dull pane of glass,
The once shining room stands now the colour of rusted brass,
She thrives in the stone cold stares of empty eyes,
As the doors open they all wear a mask,
The perfect disguise.
She stands on trial waiting for the verdict to be announced,
Mumbling disappointment, all hope is denounced,
The evidence is measured, weighed and analysed to ensure the jury come to a just decision,
Breath in, breath out. Step on, step off everything done with impeccable precision,
The tension falls flat.
Guilty.

Sorcha Murphy

A Piano

When I was seven my grandaunt suddenly died,
Her piano was so close to being cast aside.
My father who loved this incredible piece of wood
Had longed for a piano all throughout his childhood,
And so he jumped at the chance and brought the piano home
And he polished and shined till it felt like our own.
I looked on in wonder as my father began to play,
His voice a distraction to the notes he’d forget to play.
I’d sit on his lap and he’d sing and play songs
And I remember thinking that it won’t be long,
Till I too can play notes and chord and rhythms,
And that maybe one day I too could be a musician.

Katie O’Keeffe

Cells

The concrete walls of thought are thick, hard, and cold.
Instead of feeling happy we feel stupid, or cruel, or bold.

No heat breaks through, no light shines in, but we are drowned in rain.
Our breaths are choked, our bodies compress, and all we feel is pain.

The crashing grows and the clatters rise, while the melody slowly fades.
The noise deafens, voices are screams, and the suffering comes in spades.
The façade falls, the composure crumbles, and the scars are free to break us.
But a ringing in my ear distracts me, and I forget about my twisted guts.

The tears are dried, the warmth creeps in, and joy is no longer a fantasy.
You’ve listened, and cared, and been there for years, and you mean the absolute world to me.

Nessa O’Connor

Traces

Still
Quiet
A bedroom, a temple of a life stolen.

Patches of paint ripped from the wall by blue-tacked memories of forgotten moments.
Mascara ridden tears stain once fresh cotton,
A blemish of a breakdown masked by laundry detergent.
A body’s shadow haunts the wooden floor,
Once tainted with stomach acid and semi digested food,
The result of a final drunken attempt to forget.
Shiny plastic boxes are clasped shut,
Trapping ornaments of nostalgia preserved in the dust of a forgotten childhood,
Evidence of a life that ended too fast.

Still
Quiet
A bedroom, a temple of a life stolen,
Where a deep rooted monster was awakened.
Another noose tied, another life taken.

Doireann McCabe

In This House

The 21st Day in September
In this house, three generations of children were raised,
In this house, the thatch rooftop did blaze.
In this house, the greatest stories were told,
In this house the flames burnt red, yellow and marigold.
In this house, dinner was made each day,
In this house, they did try to run away.
In this house, the children slept by the glowing embers,
It was the 21st day in September.

Sarah Maguire

My Father’s Daughter

Where summer starts and it gets hotter
Everyone forgets I’m my father’s daughter
We struggle day in and day out
But no matter how loud they shout
We keep trying our best
But there is no contest
The clock stops but we keep going
Until what we have done is no longer showing

Ella Moloney

Music

Music fills us up it’s one of our 5 a day
Music is the sound of your mother’s voice singing you to sleep
Music is the horns and the beeps of the traffic going by
Music is the sound of a new-born baby cry
Music is the brains soundless thoughts
Music is the tears of the medieval battles fought
Music is the cheers of a football match being won
Music is the smell of a warm hot cross bun
Music is the thing that keeps us whole
Music can warm even the coldest soul

Lucy Martin

Angsty Motivation

Life is a lie
Existence is a lie
We are all nothingness
To fade away to the dust from whence we came
Without ever making an impact

Those who remember us will too be gone with time
And suddenly it’s as though you never existed at all

Pathetic and forgotten
Never having mattered much when alive
And being completely worthless in death

Very few people are remember through the ages;
Martin Luther King
Abraham Lincoln
George Washington
Jesus Christ
As well as others

But chances are, you won’t be one of them

We live in a world with a total population of over 7 billion people
And that number is still increasing excessively

So what are the odds that you of all people
Would be one of the few to matter at all once you’ve passed on?

That’s just it
There’s such a small chance
There may as well be none

But who’s to say that means you shouldn’t try?
Who’s to say that means every attempt is futile?
Who’s to say that just because the chances are slim that it is completely impossible?

The chances being slim only means that your successes are more extraordinary

Anon

This is Where

This is where I once played with rubber duckies
Before I even knew my life would be so unlucky
This is where I looked at myself
Thinking I would never be good enough
This is where I hid when my dad’s screams were too much
The screams turned to actions and I ended up on a crutch
This is where I spent my time after meals
Hoping one day my weight wouldn’t be such an ordeal
This is where I found my mum with a needle
And found out what she was doing wasn’t legal
This is when I couldn’t bear
And thought the world just wasn’t fair
This is where i took the test
And found out inside me was an unwelcome guest
This is where I took the time
To see the gift that was now mine
This is when I realised you were the best mistake I ever had
Because of you I’m no longer sad

Tessa O Halloran and Nicole Walsh

That’s Just Life

It rains all day and your stripy socks get soaked through
You go on your phone cos you’ve nothing better to do.

You cut the brown grass just to satisfy your nosy neighbours,
You eat the sloppy food even though it has no flavours.

You stay in your tiny bedroom so you don’t get judged,
You miss out on fun so your mascara doesn’t get smudged.

You study hard but continuously fail,
You try to be healthy but you cannot stand kale.

The beaches are stoney and the forests are dead,
They don’t really care as long as we’re fed.

Rachel

School

Students sit all day in boredom waiting to hear the bell
Young children play show and tell

Teachers struggle to get every student to listen
Kids try to find an excuse for mitchin’

Students drag their heavy book loads up and down the stairs
Teachers yell at students for swinging on their chairs

Teens try to find x and y
Nerds at lunch read books about sci-fi

Kids boss each other around thinking they’re cool
This is School…

Sarah Naughton

Never Will I See

It was the night before social whilst doing my tan,
I was in my bedroom trying to hide my can,
There is a lot to prepare and the night hasn’t even began.

Apply pounds of make-up, eyelashes too,
And always remember to let the drink brew,
Arrive at the bus all this time has just flew.

I get to social and my vision is blurry,
My hair was dead straight and now it’s gone curly,
Everything I had done, I am now going home early.

My mom came with a cross face,
I felt like we were driving through space,
There were never so many people on my case.

Now stuck at home doing many chores,
Even cleaning off the vomit that somehow reached my door,
I then cried to myself and laid on the floor.

I will never make the mistake again,
This is why I picked up my pen,
Never will I see another disco again.

Emily McCloskey

Love Is…

Love is…
Caring?
Confusing?
Wonderful?
Scary?
Precious?
Nerve-wrecking?
Priceless?
Nauseating?
Patient?
Unpredictable?
Strange?

Strange.

Love is strange.
And it doesn’t just happen,
It takes time.

At first you look at this person, this stranger, and see nothing.
Just another face in the crowd.
Nothing special.
Not anyone to get attached to.
And it stays like that,
For a long time.

But then you start talking,
And getting closer,
And becoming friends.

But still you don’t think much of it.
This is just your friend
And you only care about them as that.

A friend.

But one day, it clicks.

You look at them in a different way,
And time stands still.

You realise that this person,
This friend you’ve known for so long now and care for so much,
Is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with
And the person you want to protect at all costs.

You start to look at memories from before that moment,
And see yourself slowly falling for them
Before you even knew.

And you realise:
The things they say,
Their mannerisms,
Their interests,
Their obsessions,
The way they look,
Their laugh,
Their voice,
Their smile;
They all make this person
And you love every part of it.

You want to kiss them all over their face,
And hold them as close to your heart as you can for as long as you live,
And learn about their thought and their mind,
And tell them every wonderful thing you love about them,
And tell them just how beautiful they really are.

And while thinking you realise:
That moment you met,
Before you thought of them as anything special,
Seeds were planted
That you didn’t know were there.

Sometimes those seeds grow into roses;
Beautiful and vibrant from a distance but hurtful and laced with thorns,

Or lilies;
Colourful and glorious but high maintenance and far too much work to keep healthy.

But sometimes,
Just sometimes,
They grow into a meadow.

A meadow of hills and ditches,
Luminescent and wilting flora of every kind,
Near overgrown jungles of life and tired, shrivelled shrubbery,
Imperfections and breath-taking beauty.

Little things like grass that seem insignificant and pointless,
But this meadow would never be as beautiful if they were absent.

Flaws like weeds that make the relationship imperfect,
But stand as reminders that you’re both human,
And mistakes will always be made.

Colour and life and love and laughter and heart;
All in this meadow,
That so very rarely grows from those seeds.

And in this person,
This amazing, awe-inspiring person,
You find your meadow blooming into life.

And you want to cherish it for as long as you possibly can,
And keep it growing,
‘Til death do you part.

Though there is a fence.
A fence that surrounds this meadow of love
That you must work up the courage to climb over.

The courage to say “I am in love with you”,
To confess your feelings,
And the courage to take the risk of rejection.

The courage that comes with knowing
That, if all goes wrong,
This meadow could disappear completely,
But, if all goes right,
You could live within it forever.

And this fence is what makes love scary,
Nerve-wrecking and terrifying,
But it is still love.

And love is worth it.

Love is calming and exciting
Wonderful and precious
Priceless and timeless
Kind and homely
Caring and understanding
Comforting and amazing
Peaceful and…

Strange.

Love is so very strange.
And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Nessa O’Connor

1948

I spend most of my time here and I never want to disappear.
My grandad would tell me stories about his youth
And I realised that he never got rid of his wisdom tooth.
I love to go here when I’m upset because there is always someone there,
Sitting in that same chair.
I received the greatest gift in this place,
Right beside the fireplace.
This is where memories are made and where my heart will stay,
Day after day.

Alannah Keane

At the Bus Stop

Waiting.
We are all waiting.
Tired, irritable, annoyed.
Waiting.
No room on the bench.
I stand.
Waiting.
It’s cold.
I’m late.
Waiting.
A crash
And screams.
No more waiting.
No more bus.

Meadhbh Purcell

Off to the Disco

If you aren’t a girl you wouldn’t understand
The struggles we go through just to be tanned
The makeup, the outfits and the tickets too
They all add up and that’s certainly true.

When you make it to the disco the room is always crowded
While walking through the smoking room, the smoke is strongly clouded
The music is blaring and the guards are swearing
As I ran past the guards feeling quite daring

On the way home trying to get out of this mess
And I’ve only just realized I got sick on my dress.
I guess when I look back it was fun while it lasted
But after this I’ve never seen my mother so flabbergasted.

Sarah Tannian and Elizabeth McKenna

Excuses

I got home from school
To start on this poem
But was given loads of chores
As soon as I got home

My sister took my copy book
My brother took my pen
I couldn’t find my school bag
So I had to start again

As I started writing
A pain came in my tooth
The small kids started fighting
And a tree fell on the roof

So because of all the things
That happened back at home
I didn’t have the time
To finish of this poem

Eimear Walsh

Exams

The night before,
My heart thumping through my t-shirt,
No sleep for me tonight, I will constantly be alert,
This time tomorrow it will be history,
But right now the outcome is a mystery.

Emma Burke