Summerhill College, Co. Sligo

On Solitude

I built my house within where others live,
But there is no noise of people or birds.
You ask how this is possible:
When the heart is distant, solitude comes.

I pluck chrysanthemums by the western fence, see the distant southern mountains.
The mountain air is fresh at dusk.
Flying birds return in flocks.
In these things we find great meaning,
But when I try to explain it, I cannot find the words.


Teenage Years

Teenage years battle the oppression of depression,
But how can we get the decompression?
Drugs and alcohol rage war against the mind,
But our services need to be redesigned.
In these tough years we need all the help we can get,
So we can prevent becoming upset.
The perfect appearance covers our true identity
As we change our bodies chemically.
Rid the worry of hard times,
Avoid the drink and drugs underage; it’s a crime.
Talk to someone you can trust,
Their help can allow you to adjust.
Teenage years are the toughest of all,
A little help prevents a downward fall.

Adam Burke

Out of Place

Walking to hang,
A part of the gang,
But only technically,
Not in my mentality.

Sat in the forest,
Cramped in some corner,
Cans on the ground,
Smoke in the air,

And I’m feeling quite nervous,
Don’t want to be there.

All out of place,
With sweat on my face,
As I turn down their offers,
Saying “I’ll Pass”.

So I make an excuse,
For why I’ve to leave,
And from my mind,
This memory I can’t heave.

Robert Gaynor

The Meadow

My head is a jungle
A big mess of doubts, worries, self-consciousness
I try to keep my head up
Fight my way through the brush
Every so often I’ll see a big open meadow,
On the edge of the tree line.
Often the brush is too thick,
I feel like giving up
But I know that someday
I’ll make it to that meadow,
To the freedom
If I just keep pushing on.

Rory McVeigh

On Loneliness

Uneasy was the bird which had lost the flock;
In the evening of day it still flew alone.
Uncertain, with no fixed resting place…
Now it has alighted upon this solitary pine,
Now it has folded its wings and come home from afar.


Post-Primary Torture Chamber

When you are at home and sit to study
and cannot wait to meet your buddy,
but you remember your sitting in a torture room,
where the grip of education will get you soon.

And your creativity, your imagination,
you won’t be arty, you won’t be cool,
in fact to get out you’ll need salvation,
and not from a therapist but from your nation.

But if nothing happens you’ll look like a fool,
there should be a change to our education,
before kids sit in their torture room
and are pulled into the grip of education.

Only to have no salvation
and to be trapped too soon.

Comhall Mac Phiaraic

Sober Thoughts

As the Bottle hits his lips
His sober mind slips.

As the bottle hits the ground
His heads too numb to hear the sound.

As the third bottle smashes
His insecurities are turned to ashes.

As the final bottle is no more
He finds himself on the floor ,with a wife who refuses to let him through the door.

With no bottles left
The man turns to theft.

Colin Broujos

What if…

Eons away in a different universe,
There existed a whole new civilization,
Consisting of twenty-eight different nations.

The beings that live there are green,
They have tentacles extend from their limbs
And hover with their anti-gravity device,
Wearing a protective suit for the harsh winds.

In towns and cities, large metallic, grey buildings are clumped together,
With the odd skyscraper reaching for the skies,
There are two classes in the society,
The common civilian and the “prime”.

In one building, one special child sits at the desk,
Wondering if there is life beyond the green abyss above his head.
However, he sits there, frustrated and perplexed,
“What if?”

Seán Ballantine

The Refugee

Somewhere in Jordan
On the border of Iraq
When the planes flew in
Explosions every where
United States of America
With a sudden rush we got in a truck
From Iraq to Jordan seeking refuge
Trying to keep quite while we cross
The border saying goodbye to family
Members who’ve decided to stay in the horror and pain

4 years in refuge trying to not die
My parents trying to keep back their
Tears from all the terror but in the end
Everything became right when we
Got accepted by a country I’ve never heard of
I could go on but life’s too short too short to dwell on the past.



The struggle is real when you sit down for homework
It’s really the time when you want to do no work
Shouted at by parents because education’s important
But you know you can’t ’cause the work is just constant
Cursing your teachers because home time is downtime
But because of homework you almost have no time
Getting in trouble because no work is presented.

Michael Gilmartin


When I was young I had a lion,
With a cracked eye and a long matted mane,
It came with me on all my adventures as we battled evil foes across the land.
But then one day when it was raining and damp,
My Lion would run no more
His mane had been shorn short and his eyes were foggy and unseeing,
And it sat buried in my closet.
Until one day, ten years later my brother found the lion
And it’s eyes glowed once more.

Ben Hughes

People My Age

People my age are seen as legends if they have
smoked or drank before the age of 16
People my age are called sad and losers if they’re not into sport
People my age are really happy with themselves
If they smoked joints before 16
People my age are embarrassed if they
express their emotions in front of their friends
People my age are all dickheads.

Donal Keaveny


Got paint on my walls
I don’t get in brawls
Being a kid in the west
Is really not the best
Being accused of being a troublemaker just cause you’re a teenager
All of us aren’t bad
Your making us mad
So next time you kick us out
Remember you were once in our position not getting in a shout
I’m new at being a poet
And I hope ‘Im not showing it
Sligo is rough
To survive you have to be tough
With the future ahead of me
I don’t know what to be
The world is confusing and constantly changing
But still the cultures and traditions miraculously maintaining.

Cormac Gilligan

Existential School Hall Scream

I am in difficulty thinking,
Hot room, all clammed up within
People talking, loud noises, windows open , its like a sin,
How much do I hate learning?
I would prefer to be in a slaughter house burning,
Junior Cert done,
“Don’t worry about it son”
I wish I was told
Or maybe that was just me being bold.

Adam Lynch


Frustrated with homework.
Hitting my punch bag but it won’t work.
I take my anger out on the track.
Running until my breath begins to hack.
Records are made.
The frustration fades.
I realize with glee.
That homework isn’t for me.



School separates the boys from the lads.
You’re told what to wear,
How to mould as a person,
Grades define who you are, they also leave a mark.
School isn’t about how smart you are
School is about how smart they want you to be.

Calym Malone & Lee Wilson

Crack of the Back

As the lads start to puff thinking they are mad tough,
Onlookers look but don’t really give a f**k

‘Roll that shit up, you’ll be sound’, they say
Two minutes later you pass away,

Away into another universe full of bright lights and floating objects,
then it all comes spiralling down as you read them texts,

Its yer ma ‘where r u?’, ‘come home now!’
So you travel home on your flying cow

You walk in the door and go straight to bed,
You sit their dreaming of shit cos you still of yer head

You wake up the next morning, not knowing what to do,
You head for the mirror and stare at something belongin’ to the zoo

Years later, you look back at yer time
Of knocking pills back and snortin’ that line

You’ve just got yer life back on track
You suddenly crack yer spine and it all goes flowin’ back.


The Ref

Referees are knobheads,
They’re against my favourite team,
I hope they bloody eat some lead,
And get banged by Charlie Sheen.

Then the games can be fair again,
So we can win the league,
Screw you referees,
C’mon Sligo City!

Peter Ward

The Canvas

I’m not very built,
I’m kind of a stilt,
I’m not great with pain,
But when I ask to train,
My parents complain,
They say it’s a phase,
And when I tell people they laugh,
They say I’d be crap,
This probably doesn’t show my thoughts,
But I’m not great with poetry,
I don’t know stanzas,
Just let me give it a go on the canvas.



Going out for the day, throw down the Special K
It’s a pain to get dressed, my room’s a mess
I go outside, I look up at the sky
I see the sun’s out, it’ll be a good day, no doubt
Meet up with friends, stay until the day ends
We’re all in the park, this day is right on the mark
I get a call on my phone, I have to go home
Walking home under the street lights red
This day has been better spent than in bed.

Kevin McDonagh


School separates the boys from the lads,
You’re told what to wear,
Told how to mould as a person,
Grades define who you are,
They leave a mark, they leave a scar.

Lee Wilson & Calym Malone

Change Gang

I hate racist blokes who tell tasteless jokes,
And thinks it’s cool to leave school.
Who thinks it’s okay to drink all day,
And deal drugs like it’s nobody’s business.
I hate gangs who start fights,
And run from police lights,
I hope to one day that they’ll all change their ways
And see that there’s a life worth living.


The Beautiful Game

The beautiful game,
Tarnished by money and greed.
Where we’re told to believe the lies that we read.
The game made for the working class,
But they have to pay £60 to watch men kick a ball on grass.
The beautiful game,
Many players are destroyed by the fame,
Thanks to the media who refuse to take the blame.
The beautiful game,
Loved by so many for it’s passion and emotion.
The game that can touch so many from across the ocean.
We must fix the game,
Remove the money and the greed,
Its true beauty must be freed.

Caolan O’Brien

The Ball

The ball’s in mid air,
Will it ,won’t it?
Sexton, Ireland, the world looks on.
It almost stops in mid-air
Jeers ring around the Aviva
The Aviva freezes,
It drops drops and drops to a welcoming cheer.

Michael Munnelly

My Life

I am sporty, my dad is over forty
I live in the country, I’m not a junkie
I play county so I can’t eat Bounties
I run 800, Can I get sub 2 minute I wondered
I dream of ideas, what happening to Korea?
I think and think, I am running out of ink
I try hard in school, how can teachers be so cruel
I don’t get the A’s, so I am going the other way
I enjoy life at school, the good and the bad



Each day I go to school
Have to try to keep my cool
I felt like such a fool
The kids at school
Have parents that seem so cool.



I’m sick of the system that we learn by
I’m sick of knowing things I shouldn’t know yet
I’m sick of the system that teaches us what we know
I’m sick of knowing useless things we should live by
I’m sick of the system in which letters tell us how we live
I’m sick of knowing how neutron stars are formed, its useless in school
I’m sick of the system that doesn’t give us freedom in learning
I’m sick of knowing that good scores let us get better jobs
It’s stupid
They say we have freedom…. But that’s just a lie to make us think we do,
But really,
We’re being controlled

Cian Mc Guinness


School is hard
School isn’t fun
School is the reason I want to be done
The teachers are strict
The teachers are no craic
The teachers are the reason I don’t want to go back.



I can’t think of anything to put in this poem
But I think it could be a tiny bit stolen
I don’t know what I’m saying anymore
But I know most governments are big fat whores

I feel like they need to be hit in the face with a custard pie
And there all very sly and make a lot of young children cry
They’re making billions and making refugees their minions