When I Was Young
When I was young I believed that fairies were real
And that they lived in these flowers outside my house.
When I was young I would get my Mam to check
Under my bed to make sure there were no monsters.
But now I hardly believe in anything anymore.
Now, the monsters are real
But they’re not under our beds.
They’re in society, people, and in our heads.
We strive to be something we’re not,
We’re so brain washed into trying to be perfect that
Our beliefs are dulled and shut down,
Except now all we see are humans but no humanity.
Wasn’t life beautiful when you believed?
I remember the arguments, morning till night,
Waiting for pure fatigue to end the fight.
I was just six, and loved you both dearly,
Knowing that you both wanted the best for me, really.
You moved away when I was twelve.
Finally, peace. She told me it was your fault.
Not a subject into which I would delve,
And our father-daughter relationship came to a halt.
But we still saw each other every Wednesday.
We drove somewhere, making small talk to drown out the quiet.
I remember the last time you picked me up.
You had to stop, complaining of pain. And I didn’t buy it.
Twenty minutes later and you hadn’t come out
Of the petrol station bathroom you had gone into.
I crept in, your not responding turned my call into a shout
And an ambulance soon came, trying to rescue you.
But they didn’t. And you’d died.
And soon I realised
That for the past three years I’d ignored your love.
And I remembered those moments which made you my dad
And I hoped you forgave me from above.
She still mentions you. Still shames your name.
Can’t do much but nod.
But I’ll remember the guilt I felt that day,
Realising I’d never fix our relationship, so flawed.
Little Green and White Bastards
Depression, is a funny thing to, explain to your grandmother of an entirely different generation.
Once you’ve plucked up the courage to, with a cuppa in your hands you feel it, the sense of burning in the back of your throat as you back track trying to start a different conversation.
But she catches you, with a glimmer in your eye, as you try, to quickly brush it off, but she smiles, she knows, she knew before you, she was miles, ahead of you, how could you the no she didn’t know?
This is easier, than you’ve ever imagined, for once people aren’t looking at you cause you’ve got a different fashion, instead of buying black leather jackets, you’re on Prozac, to try keep you from bad habits.
Your mother, is a very different person now, tip-toeing around, you trying to make life easier but she’s not.
These pills don’t make you who you are, for you’re not who you are while you’re under their effect, like a cigarette, you’re high for five minutes, then it’s gone, leaving you in the state you were in before you took the bastards on.
Overtime by A at St. Mary’s College, Arklow.
Overtime, she has learned to dab away her tears so as not to smudge her makeup.
Overtime, she has found a way to smile and mask the pain that tears her up inside.
Overtime, she has grown to laugh at the comments which break away pieces of her ever-shrinking self esteem.
Overtime, she has learned ways to evade suspicions of the illness which consumes her.
Overtime, she has learned to care for others to avoid her own struggles.
Overtime, she has abandoned all expectations of respect.
Overtime, she has become dependent on the words of others to define herself.
Overtime, she has become moulded by society into an inoffensive character.
Overtime, she has taught herself to look, act, be normal.
Overtime, she has abandoned her true self for fear of being ridiculed, or worse, ignored.
I’m surrounded by slut shaming,
Bitchy naming, body framing
And unnecessary blaming.
Your gender determines your destiny,
But what you don’t know is the
Rest of me.
So what? I kissed two boys last week.
You’re one to talk, Sex Freak.
Standing up for myself is no violation.
I’m doing it to eliminate female discrimination.
It’s now time to draw the line.
Hopefully I will do this through rhyme.
Caoimhe, Natalia, Eve, Sadhbh & Lucy
We are under so much pressure
To try to become better
Some people are so underrated
It starts to get you frustrated
Whether you’re being judged on your grades
Or judged by your age
We live in such a horrible generation
People cutting themselves for that killing sensation
When killing yourself is the only solution
When you just can’t listen to the noise pollution
I am from Kildare,
Where I was born and raised
In foster care.
It’s a really hard life
Growing up without your mother and father.
Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes it doesn’t.
When I was just two years old,
My brother came to live with me.
We shared many life memories
And had lots of fun times and bad times together.
I’ve been in three different foster homes.
This one’s in Arklow, which I’ve been in for eight years.
Sometimes I feel like crying into shreds of tears.
Then my dad was on the drink
And became an alcoholic.
My brother and I didn’t see him until last year.
We still don’t see him.
Then I lost a heart, a soul,
And even my favourite darling brother.
He moved into different foster care and then a children’s home.
Until last year I lived with him all my life,
Which just ruined my life because it’s just like
He never even existed.
Since the age of five I was told, “You’re the smart kind”.
Looking at my parents with a knowing head bob
And a self-satisfied smile
Meaning their best but failing to help,
My teachers setting me on the circular train tracks of life.
With all the lies in the book, they’ll try to clean you up
Because to them you’re a hard drive to be filled.
School, college, job, marriage, kids, retirement, death
What are you running from? You could be a doctor? A lawyer? A teacher!
I’m running from what I see as a death sentence.
A desk sentence.
Shackled to a job I hate ‘cos I let my superiors dictate what it is a smart kid should want.
Not the Best Feeling in the World
Not the best feeling in the world
Yet I don’t want to be here
Everyone wondering, everyone watching
It’s a terrible feeling that I’ve been keeping
But I just can’t tell because I’ll get too unwell.
To even do the normal everyday things is a stressful struggle
Going to school
Talking to people
But all that I feel is that awful feeling.
I put a big smile on to pretend I’m okay but really inside I’m an anxious mess
I wish I didn’t over-analyse,
I wish I wasn’t nervous,
I wish I didn’t care,
That’s what my anxiety does to me
It’s not nice but all I’m going to do is fight
Stupid Things You Say to Us
“Who are you wearing the make-up for?”
It’s not for you, it’s for me.
“Your bra is showing.”
God forbid! Someone call Victoria, her secret’s out.
“What is she wearing?”
I wasn’t aware I had to dress to please you.
“That’s not very ladylike.”
But it’s okay for you to do it?
“But you’re a girl.”
Congratulations! You noticed.
“Is it that time of the month?”
Cause I’m telling the truth, that makes me a bitch?
“You’re good. For a girl.”
You’re pretty naïve considering it’s the 21st century
“Do you watch sports for the game or for the men?”
Are you trying to be stupid or does it come naturally?
We can’t all succeed if half of us are held back.
Emily Keenan, Amy Gavin, Emma McGeary & Amy Nolan
I’m from nowhere
With scattered memories
Of a place I call ‘home’
I’m more from here than there, but I don’t want to be
It’s not a home, it’s a house
A glorified bus shelter, a stop off,
Waiting for something better
We are a messed up generation.
From lads being pricks
To always thinking about their dicks.
From girls being twats
To only wanting one prat.
From “friends with ben”
To never speaking again.
From “it’s between me and you”
To who else knew?
From “I love you”
To “actually f**k you.”
From me and you
To “is she in our relationship too?”
Arklow Town such a kip of a place,
Every girl, every boy, known as a disgrace
Girls with their see through leggings and camel toes
Lads in their f**kboy pants only looking out for bros
All they want from girls is their bit
Really? That’s not who you’ll marry you twit
You’ll be walking around thinking you’re a pimp
The classy girls just think you’re a gimp
All you boys seem to do is fuck girls around
I’d love to beat you six feet underground
You’ll pull all the girls like something off Geordie Shore
A girl does the same and you call her a whore?
St. Patrick was supposed to have driven the snakes away
But I still come across them everyday
Us girls aren’t much better letting ourselves get hurt
From that one over there to the next fucking flirt
When sex becomes nothing but just something to do
You know there was nothing going on for the two of you
You open your legs as much as the front door
Getting names for us all like bitch, slut and whore
You go to his for some Netflix and chill
Nine months later it’s the hospital bill
You think it’ll be okay and he’ll stay
But next thing you know he’s walked away
You’ve walked away and think that’s okay
What if someone does this to your daughter one day?
You’ll never be more than that.
Emily Mitchell, Shona Dillon, Jessie Egan & Orlaigh Kelly
Like A Girl
“Like a girl” they say
Back then I would have walked away
“Like a girl” what does that mean?
To throw, to hit, run like a girl
In modern society it’s taken as an insult
That we’re not able to take or throw a punch
It’s time to make a change as we all know
Women do reign, strong multi-tasking, leaders of the world
Whether you’re a Katy Taylor fighting a championship match
Down to a simple school girl, trying to keep a healthy balance between getting the A and B grades to looking a certain way,
To be captain of the football team.
To be the class head ‘queen bee’
So now think twice when you say “like a girl”
I no longer see it as an insult but a compliment I yearn.
Everything we do is judged
Which makes us hold a grudge
But nobody makes a budge
To stop our generation from judging
Our society causes our anxiety
And give reasons to hate our society