Inspireland’s Best Poems of 2015/2016

The Mountain Speaks

In the awakening of time I was built

I have crunched time and it has faded on my back.


My eyes have sliced through stone

The sea lent into me and folded its arms around me

The wind avoided my peak, it swept through

My heathers and sang in my bloodstream.


My heart is of rock ore

It beats in the deep.


The rain has fallen and I have tasted it like silver stones on my tongue

I softly brushed the clouds and painted them gold.


I have lapped up the sun’s rays

And cracked its light

I have breathed in its shadows’ lungs.


I know the tales of the stars

I saw them come to life, and read their

Faces in the moonlight.


I am the mountain

You shall fade and I shall stay.

Muireann Hayden – Colaiste Eoin & Iosagain, Dublin

Every Door

Every door I see

Makes my heart race

A secret wish

I can’t displace.


The handle twitches

The hinges creak

My hopes so high

But cold at the peak.


I blink and blink

Hoping I’ll see

That’s it’s you

Looking back at me.


The dream so vivid

I smile, but cry more

Whenever I see

An unopened door.

Hannah Kerrigan – Loreto College, Navan, Co. Meath

Collapsing Wings

Wings collapsing in a pool of tears

Unsteady hands push away walls

Shin screams, burns, begs for the sweet release of air

For a beautiful gush of oxygen to drive through me

But it is always disappointed

And instead it’s met with shaking.

Uncontrollable streams of anxiety

Flooding from bleeding eyes that search desperately for safety

But they are always disappointed

They are always disappointed.


Instead panic runs through my veins

A burning surge and I am escorted

By the never ending sensation of drowning

To a person I don’t even recognise

And in this moment,

This hour,

This life,

As I search for who I was,

I am always disappointed

I am always disappointed.

Megan Foster – Loreto Secondary School, Bray, Co Wicklow

Eye of the Storm

Blood be smooth

As man is sleep

But wind and sky storm beneath.


Bare black bitter beauty blows those,

Eating away all skin,

Repulsive rips.


Soaring symphony sings

Rose rain shines red

Like lake light.


Yet between cool blue waters

And waxy warm sun

Gorgeous gardens are you.


Petal smears

And raw diamond.


I watch as though these

Fast days here heave

Like live music.


Language screams

Not never me.


Why run above in heads?

But who, not me.


Some lick purple picture death

My ship of me

Sailing the sea.


Of herbs and trees

Green grass grows

Beneath my fat.


But beaten bulbs and sore bark trees

Lie between closed sheets

Of rotten leaves.


Only to be forgotten about

Until the next heave.


Leaving behind me

What I hope to be

Only quiet, clear calm peace.


Only to discover

The power of creation

Is within thee.

Chloe Dalton – Loreto College, Kilkenny


Haven’t smiled since it happened

Haven’t cried since it happened, either,

Which strikes another notch on that stupid manliness scale

They keeping talking about.


It’s not like I’m managing to cope

More like I’m dead inside.

Driving home from work gives me a dull heartache

You used to always change the radio to that poppy shit

When I was driving and helpless

I look at it now as I drive and listen to the music blare out and I still hate it

But I won’t change it.


It doesn’t seem fair to win the fight when you’re not there, anymore, to fight back

I look up at our mirror, and see that Jesus statue you always took such care with.

I’ve started praying you know

I make one wish a lot

I look out at the sky when I ask him to bring you back.


You told me how clean you always felt, but I never feel better

I haven’t felt in a long time, really.

Sometimes, I worry

That even if you could go back to being you, I can’t go back to being me.

You said you loved me for my sense of humour

But I haven’t smiled, once.

Anon – Sligo Grammar School, Co. Sligo

Lighthouses in the Sky

The moon stared white and blank at them

The stars gazed down on them

The sea drowned out their sorrows

Everything bad that happened to them before now.


Hands touched, and as they did

A bright array of fireworks light the sky as well as their lives

Orange, pink, purple, colours of hope

Colours of meaning

Colours of love

Lighthouses, they were

Stuck at the far end of the sky.


The pair watched,

No words were needed

And nothing seemed to matter anymore

Because they knew nothing would be the same again.

He looked at the time, it was late

Too late,

An exchange of numbers, exchange of names

A final glance

The uniting of an unlikely two, and they knew

Destiny seemed to have worked it’s magic.


And all this time, the moon stared white and bright at them

Suns turned to moons and to suns again

Childhood, teenage years, adulthood passed

Until the two found themselves older, wiser

In the same place

With the stars

Lighthouses gazing down on them.


Time seemed to pass so quickly

Until the day he was left alone

Her body buried deep beneath the stare of the moon

Where it would stare at her forever more.


All alone sitting by the grave

That feeling of loss taking him whole

He could only wait until the day he would be with her again

Looking, gazing with wonder

At the lighthouses in the sky.

Orla Scally – Sacred Heart, Clonakilty, Co. Cork

Migrant Crisis

He was only the age of three

Barely able to talk, only beginning to see

He didn’t know what was going on

He had to leave his country, what did he do wrong?

He began the treacherous journey with his tired family

Arriving at Turkish shores, they boarded the dinghy

The sea was so rough and truly unforgiving

But they were really desperate for a better standard of living.

Life can be tough and it was not meant to be

A better life, this boy did not see

He tried so hard to keep hold of the boat

He soon let go and did not float

He was only the age of three

Barely able to talk, only beginning to see.

Aoife Gallagher – Ursuline College, Sligo

Broken Promises

After a while, you learn

the difference between

holding a hand and falling

in love. You begin to learn

that kisses don’t always

mean something, promises

can be broken just as

quickly as they are made,

and sometimes,

goodbyes really are


Weronika – St. Vincent’s Secondary School, Cork


Did you ever for a second think that your actions didn’t just affect you

Did you not think about me when you made the decision to end it all

Did you not f**king care that I loved you

I loved you and you couldn’t deal with that

You said you where lonely and ignored me when I reached out to you

All those nights I stayed up trying to get those thoughts out of your head, for nothing in the end.

The night you went to the bridge

My heart stopped, I couldn’t breathe,

I couldn’t believe that’s how bad things had gotten.

The voices had gotten louder and you couldn’t think of a reason to stay.

I wanted to be your f**king reason.

I know you had a tough time growing up and people made you feel like you where worthless

But I enjoyed your presence how you could make me laugh

I loved you even though you were damaged.

I loved you even though you messed with my head

I loved you and needed you to stay.

You took your anger out on me

One fight lead to another

No trust

We couldn’t even talk to one another

We just looked in pain.

I couldn’t deal with it anymore.


Now that your gone

I don’t know how to cope

The memories are still there

You left me scarred

The marks of your kisses are forever embedded on my skin

I still feel you sleeping next to me

I still feel your hand in mine on lonely days.

Maybe I’m just going crazy

Why can’t I get you out of my head

I am sick

Sick of pretending you’re not gone.

Nicole Fulton – Mercy College, Coolock, Dublin

The Disappeared

Bright eyes

Fiery dreams

Waiting for something to make you complete.

Goals and standards, CV’s and profiles.

So how do I climb a ladder when all the rungs are broken?

When my shoes are filled with the weight of their words

Words of encouragement maybe or were they just words for dead dreamers

From someone who speaks through a filter

And tells you that you’re a number and your worth is measured by points.

Would you still see me if I didn’t make the cut

Or would I just disappear?

Milena Barnes – Newtown School, Waterford

Face in the Crowd

Just a face in the crowd

A brick in the wall

Someone who is strange

When all comes to all.


No crazy antics

No stories to share

I know that I’m young

And I probably shouldn’t care.


My life hasn’t started

And I feel like something’s wrong

When you’ve got nothing to do

Everyday seems long.


Everyone has hobbies

Places to be

While at the end of every school day

I’m left with just me.


Maybe when I’m older

All of this will change

And I’ll have life

Crazy, free and strange.


When that day comes

I’ll think back to now

Back to when I thought

I was just a face in the crowd.

Niamh Duffy – Inver College, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan

This is For

This is for the girl who would rather

Have loneliness as her only partner

Than suffer another minute

Of offences, slurs and shit.


For the boys confined

To their own mind

Trashing, fearing the unknown

Screaming, crying, alone.


Those who talks boys

But think girls.

Those who talk girls

But think boys.


This is for the hidden

For the hiding

And for the scared.

Aisling Garvey – Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

They See

The way we talk, we walk, we dress, we eat

The way we laugh and play and drink our tea

The way we watch the world pass by our eyes,

They see.


When we laugh till we can’t breath

When we walk through frozen leaves

When we shiver or wipe our eyes,

They see.


The way we act when shy or scared

The way we smile when stories are shared

When we try to look through another’s eyes,

They see.


They’re always listening in the wind

Always finding out your sins

Maybe it’s you, it’s in your mind

But then again, you’ll always know,

They see.

Megan Perry – Dunshaughlin Community College, Co. Meath


I cannot find

Those pieces of pain

Unlike everyone else

Different yet beautiful.


A lonely road

Reminds me of childhood

That paradise far from home

Where music plays

And every Christmas

Is a white one.

Juliana Hill – Bandon Grammar School, Co. Cork


“Smile” they said

You’d be prettier if you smiled

I smile, but their eyes soon leave

And I return to myself.


Knobbly hands pinch my face, “Smile” they coo

Cold hands, warm hands, stubby fingers slender fingers,

I smile and they leave and I feel

A roaring tide begin to swell.


“Miss Personality” they laugh

With lecherous looks and flying spittle

And in that moment my eyes flash and they suddenly start

If only they knew.


If only they knew God forbid you frowned

Even for a moment, that suddenly you’re

Depressed, they whispered, weird, unfriendly

A sharp nudge is swiftly delivered

I surrender, uncomfortable, angry, yet in pitiful defeat

“I know. Smile.” I repeat.


If only they knew of society’s unyielding chains

That binds my face into false sincerity

That tells us to smile and not delve into the forbidden place

Of comfortable silence.


And as the world thunders on

Another continues to roll

Lightning flashes in the land behind my eyes

If only they knew how I smiled.

Nicole Scanlan – St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville, Co. Cork

That Other

That person that plays, that plays on your mind

The one you’ve waited your whole life to find.

The reason to cry, to laugh and to smile

Your favourite telephone number to dial.

That feeling of finally being complete

He calls it cheesy, but I call it “sweet.”

The closest of friendships, no secrets between

Someone to hug, a safe place to lean.

That medicine that you cannot live without

The candle that shines on the shadow of doubt.

The person you dreamed of who’ll always be there

A soul to soul other, a lifetime to share.

Chloe White – Inver College, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan

My Hurricane

You said you’d never felt special

But I always put your happiness before mine.

You said no one has ever cared

But I stayed up nights in case you needed someone.

You said no one listened

But I knew more of you than of myself.

You said no one noticed you

But I always adored that little piece of hair that always fell on your forehead.

And maybe I was only a few raindrops to you

While you were my hurricane.

Alicia Krajewska – St Flannan’s, Ennis. Co. Clare

The First Time She Heard It

The first time she heard it

It felt like a whip.

The whispers and laughs went straight to her heart

The texts and images hit her like darts.

After a while she could not hear a thing

She was numb to the texts

Deaf to the whispering.


But when you are deaf

It’s hard to hear

The howls and sobs of the ones

Who hold you dear.

Isabelle Varley – Scoil Mhuire, Trim, Co. Meath

Thoughts at 3am

I met you with my heart wide open

Full of hope, trust, expectations.

I let you gradually

Peel away layer after layer after layer.


It was pleasant

Your gentle fingers, soft hands, soft lips

Full of promises.


You reached the core

It was all that mattered

You, me, forever

Forever, forever, forever.


It’s over

Done. Goodbye. The bus left.


I look down and I’m in tatters.

Layers stick out at odd angles.

They’re ripped,

And it seems impossible

To repair.


Now I don’t let anybody near

For fear I fall apart.


I try to glue myself back together,

But it rains sometimes

And I dissolve.


Those who I let touch me,

Are few.

Though I wish there were more

Where did they go?

These hands are rough

Prodding fingers

I miss your touch.


Where is my trust?

My hope?

My expectations?

Anon – St. Brigid’s, Callan, Co. Kilkenny

Teenage years

At 13 I was a confused teenager

Struggling to cope with my anxiety.

At 14 I was fighting voices in my head

”You’re not good enough”

And I started to believe it.

Everyone turned a blind eye,

They said it’s just a phase

”You’ll be okay.”

”But I’ve had enough” I said.


I lay in bed at night

Listening to the trees dancing in the wind

I dreamt of better things.

Anon – Crescent Comprehensive, Limerick


The beautiful city


Innocent lives ruined

The world horrified.


And why?

What is the point?

You will get nothing,

You will not get our hatred

You will not get our violence

You will not get our fear

You will get nothing

You are alone.


You will not have love

You will not have friendship

You will not have affection

You are alone

You have achieved nothing

You have only strengthened our resolve.


We will fight this

But without the destruction

That you have unleashed.


Paris, the beautiful city


Cormac Watson – Clongowes Wood College, Clane, Kildare


The phone hit the flecked cream door frame

The white back and battery coming to a tumbling stop

Resting against the orange and black tiled fireplace.

Shattered screen like the shattered dreams dripping

From the bridge of his spotted, freckled nose

Lost in the depths of the heavy, deep carpet. Lost

He lets it all pour out – the anguish, anxiety

Soul-shattering feeling that has simply defined him

And just now the way he feels about her.


Three years now, she is what he uses to hold onto

Life, with his clammy blood-spattered grip.

Her low, firm frame silhouettes his dreams

Or nightmares, every time she threatens

To walk away, bringing the hate, the fear, the hurt

Flooding back, once again defining him.


And as she talks, in her soft, yet somehow completely

Animated tone, about the next heartbreaking, obscene

Idiot boy in her life, he looks into the back of her

Pale blue eyes, and it returns, and he knows

That he’ll never, ever be it

“The One.”


And it returns, the empty, harrowing sound

Deep in the back of his teary, brown eyes, reflected

In the back of the phone


Cathal Walsh O‘Grady – CBS Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

Music Matters

Music is everywhere

Just listen.

Music is inside you

Think about it

The flow of your blood through the your body

It’s bound to make a sound

No matter how low it is

It’s still there

The beating of your heart

You make a sound

Without music where would we be?

What would we do?

Music matters

You are music

You matter.

Cáit McGovern – Brefine College, Cavan


My eyes close slowly

My ideas are turning in my head

A blur comes and covers all of them

An idea is coming up in my mind and another is taking its place.


My eyes open.

Black. Black is the only colour in my vision.

It’s not a pure black it’s a deep blur really dark.

Colour explosions, like magic fireworks exploding in my vision.

The deep blur covering my vision is going away

Now I can see my room, completely dark but I can see forms.


I return my head

The feeling of my sweet bed makes me close my eyes.

The reality is disappearing

The black blur is getting deeper and darker

An idea is coming up in my mind and another is taking its place.

Paul Rovel – Summerhill College, Sligo

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 backtrack 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 not know 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.

Anon – St Mary’s College, Arklow, Co. Wicklow


I go into a distant space

I feel alone I have no place

I feel sad, unwanted

But then I feel mad

And when I shout

I let it all out

Because keeping it in

Is like something bursting

Through my skin.

Emma Holland – St. Brigids Callan


Shells of people

Drained like corpses of cattle strung upside down

And let bleed into the drain of childhood dreams

Stamped out like a spark that strayed from the fire

Quenched ambition and muffled desire.


Shells of people

Empty and painted like Easter eggs

Make-up, cleavage and hairless legs

Skin that’s smooth but brittle to the touch

Lest it crack and reveal that inside it lacks much.


Shells of people

Fall like autumn leaves

Dead and broken and made to believe

That theyre all better off away from the tree

Of original thought and to follow the lead

Of an established opinion of gravity.


Shells of people

Aimed at the head of a divergent path

Hot lead piercing the skin of the wise

Ignorance conquers because its easier to laugh

Than to silence the gunfire and hear the truth cry.


Shells of people

Demanding freedom of speech to express

The exact same opinions as everyone else,

Everyone’s entitled to freedom of thought

As long as you swear not to act or talk.


Shells of people

Deprived of the meaning and purpose they crave

Confused and frustrated and led so far astray

Repressing emotions, the herd they will follow

So these shells of people cease to feel so hollow.

Edward Purcell – St. Flannan’s, Ennis, Co. Clare


You are the choked

and the strangled

tied up in chains

mangled in your houses

of the dead.

Running and dancing

till the drunken dawn

starts setting fire

to the lives of the people

your revolution

left behind.

Carla Delaney, Shauna Barden & Sylwia – Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore, Dublin

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, in people, and in our heads.

We strive to be something we’re not

We’re so brainwashed into trying to be perfect that

Our beliefs are dulled and shut down

Now all we see are humans but no humanity.


Wasn’t life beautiful when you believed?

Anon – St Mary’s College, Arklow, Co. Wicklow

Not Another Year

Another year goes by

Same concrete school

Same concrete sky.

You get a year older

But not much bolder

Another year goes by.

Emma Kelly – Castlecomer Community School, Kilkenny


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