Ursuline College, Finisklin Road, Co. Sligo

Big Boys don’t Cry


“Big boys don’t cry”
4 years old, with tear marks down his cheeks
The result of an accident in the garden.
He holds his breath and puffs out his chest
Because he is a big boy now,
And he must show it.

“Big boys don’t cry”
16 years old now, his first big breakup
He swallows the glass in his throat,
Because only girls get attached.
He paints a smile, laughs with his mates
Accepts the drink that’s handed to him
Because he knows it’s the only way they know how to help.

“Big boys don’t cry”
36 years of age, whispering that dreaded line to himself
Alone in the dark,
Bruises on his body from the latest outburst
Of the woman he chose to marry
He tells himself that it’s his own fault, that men should be strong.
He wipes his tears and picks out an outfit to wear the next day,
One that won’t show his shame.

“Big boys don’t cry”
44 years old, shocked by the venomous words coming from his own mouth.
But the damage has been done.
He watches his little boy, the light of his life,
Puff out his chest as he once did.
And wonders who will end this vicious cycle.


Elizabeth Bartlett


I Am Who I Am


Where does it all start?
Where does it all begin?
What did I ever do
To be treated this way?
Because I don’t deserve it
I don’t.
Because I am only ever nice
I try as hard as I can
I keep telling myself to let it go
But how do you let something
Go that never stops hitting you in the face
Something that’s in the past,
Present, future.
It needs to stop
But how?
How do I change something or someone?
Who doesn’t care about anyone
Or anything, but themselves.

You have judged me not
For who I am but for
Where I come from
And what I look like
I am more than that
You ask me what my
Grades are in tests
As if a number or
A letter defines who
I am or where I’m
Going. You put me
Down. You categorise and group me.

You try to hurt.
But why?
What did I do to you?

You’re condescending.
You say it’s a joke!
But when is it ever a joke.
You don’t say hurtful
Things or talk about
People behind their
Back to make them
Laugh. You say
It to cause pain
And you shield it
And disguise it as
A joke, so you
Won’t be judged.

Because if anyone
Dare question you
Or say you’re wrong
They are seen as
Another target for your

You say you’re innocent
Make it out that
You’re the victim. It’s never
Your fault.

So instead of standing
Up people hide away
In shadows praying
That they won’t be picked

Because if they are
They know how it feels
It’s a desperate don’t look
At me hiding, feeling ashamed
For who you are or
Where you came from
What you do, or where you’re going
You’re the victim of a “joke”
That no-one else
Understands or sees.

I see, I understand
I am not
Going to be the
Victim of a “joke”

I am who I am
And I’m not going
To change for
Anyone. This is me and
If you can’t accept me
For who I am or
Where I come from
That’s fine.
But I am not going
To be the topic
Of conversation
Or the “joke”
For you to tell anymore.
I will not be the victim of
You’re condescending
I am all that I
Am, and I’m not
Afraid to show

But it doesn’t
Matter whether a
Person is brown
Or white
Weather Muslim, Christian
Jewish, or German
French or Spanish
We’re all the same
Inside. We all have
Feelings thoughts and
Have no need or
Room in our lives
For “jokes”.

I am who I am
And not afraid to let you know.




We are New


Let us learn and forget and then learn again.
Let us see what we want to see, let us love who we want to love.
Let us make mistakes –
Because we are young and free
And we are not you.


Kate Clarke


The One


I am the quiet one that sits at the back of class
I am the one they choose to pick on
I am the one that no boy goes for
I am the one that gets picked last for everything
I am the one they know nothing about
I am the one that stands up for myself
I am the one that takes none of their sh**
I am the one that will become something better
I am the one they will aspire to be.


Maeve Macken


Hard to Hide


I watched you sleep
I watched you breathe
I sat by your side
The look of worry on your daughter’s face
Was clearly evident
Hard to hide
There’s so many things I don’t understand
Why can’t I remember all the good times
We had
Why does it feel like it’s all in my head?
Every day you look the same
With confusion in your eyes
I wish that you’d recall my name
We know each other our whole lives
This process repeats every day
For as long as I have to stay
And when I finally wave my good byes
I saw the sadness in your eyes






12:55, he sits there
Staring at the clock
Hoping that the time on the wall would stop.

12:56, he starts to fidget
Praying that the bullies would forget
To pick on him about his race
Before the lunch cell rings or else he’ll have to pick up the pace

12:57, three minutes left.
Only three more minutes of safety
Before he gets thrown into the lions
For their afternoon meal

12:58, not long now
He stares at the boys across the room.
They’re whispering to each other
About the teacher’s new groom

12:59, he stares at the clock
Praying that time would stop.
He starts to panic and sweat a little
Getting ready for the insults about to hit him

1pm, time’s up
He jumps up and runs for the door
But he’s halted by a group of four
They start to smirk but take their time
To think of an insult as bad as a crime


Ciara Waldron



Lying on the decking
Night time falls around me
Hands over my head
Knees bent
Clothes soaking up the rain from the ground
Sky clear
Chaos melts away
Stars twinkle oblivious in the sky.


Kyra Murphy


Why do you Care?


Why do you care?
You care that I look different,
But you care that I look the same.
You care that I sound different
And that I am different.
But why do you care?
You care that I know more than you
And you care that I know less than you.
But I know that you only care about me,
To care less about yourself.
But the question is,
Why do I care?


Laura Keane


Good Enough


Wondering whether you’re good enough.
That you have stuff to offer.
Voices in your mind driving you crazy.

As you sit and wonder
A smile comes across your face
As you remember those
People in your life who
Love you for you


Amy Torsney




What does it means to forget?
Not to recognise a face you’ve met.
Not to remember what you said.
Or does it mean that you’re a dumb head?

No one sees the blessing of it
All the pain goes away in a second
You remember what happened
But you forget the pain you had.


Fatma Dogan




In this town, where we are born and bred,
We are living our lives for nothing, half dead.
In this town, where disaster strikes,
We are trolling social media for
How many likes?
In this town, where we are all one,
We consider ourselves the judgemental ones.
In this town, you are judged for who you are,
But who you are doesn’t work,
When you’re covered in scars.




I Feel so Lost


I’m constantly being told this and that
Everyone takes takes takes
But no one ever stops
To think, ‘is she okay?’
It’s hard being sad
It’s not like no one sympathises
It’s just I feel like no one
Truly listens
My life is a constant up and down
Sometimes I want to be the best version
Of myself
Other times I just feel numb
A repetition of being up and down
But “I’m only young” and it’s probably just hormones
All I know is being this version of me
I just want to be myself again.




This Is Me


My music comes to life,
My thoughts become lyrics,
My lyrics become real my passion becomes reality,
This is me.
My voice can be heard,
I can be in control,
I can share my thoughts,
I can be a slave to my music.






He was everything
He was more than everything
But he wasn’t too much
He was in fact just enough
He wasn’t mine
And he never would be
Because he was perfect
And I just




The Girl with the Orange Top


She wore an orange top,
Running out of a beauty shop,
Trying not to get hit by a raindrop,
Then she jumped on a bus,
Trying to avoid us,
She does not like to discuss
When she arrived at the house,
She was greeted by the maize,
It was never considered a home,
Just a boarding house
The ceiling was leaking,
The floor boards were creaking,
The mice squeaking
And the nun strictly speaking.
The head of the house hold,
Only at marigold
In the cold, old kitchen
Contaminated with mould.






I don’t like school
It’s not just about the work
It’s about having to be cool
If you don’t have the trendy shoes
Or don’t act like everyone else
That’s fine but you automatically lose
It should be okay to be who you are
Without be judged by people who love to be the same
Just be yourself….it’s no shame
But back to school it’s all just pressure
Just try your best and you won’t get better
Just have fun it’s all a laugh
But until your exams
Your parents will drive you daft


Grace Davitt




Women can’t ever get it right.
Black clothes? Goth.
Blonde hair? Dumb.
Virgin? Prude.
Not a virgin? S***.
Nice to a teacher? Kissass.
Rude to a teacher? Showoff
Stop ridiculing women for






They are made from the Irish potato
They can be eaten on their own
Although never in a scone
Chicken fillet roll
Not something you put in a cereal bowl
Can be filled with salad
Although nothing really needs to be added
Everybody loves to snack
Chicken fillet roll, taytos, whatever you can hack
No matter which food you decide on
Always remember they can help you not to yawn.






I can’t do that
My mind is flat
Too stupid doofus
Not rich enough
The itch from the wrong place
Might as well be outer space
Who I’m trying to be
Defying the real me.


Sophie H




Don’t know what to think
Mixed up in thoughts
Trying to figure out yourself
In a society trying to box you in
Worried about being judged
Can’t make decision for fear of being
Given out to or rejected
Trying to make decisions.
In a place where you have no choice
Hoping to eventually figure it out
Whether your able to or
Happy with it or not
Confused in a world making you choose
But eventually you’ll decide and live to be confused.






I see the way you walk
It’s like the clouds glide beneath you
Even the way you talk
The breath of air emerging too
You don’t see me
Admiring your beauty from afar
So goodbye until we see
What the future has in store.




How Far they Go


They think it looks easy
Like something out of a book
But believe me it’s not
All that it looks
Nothing worth having comes easy
They speak no lies
You get out what you put in
They don’t see the cries
Sweat blood and tears
Don’t show you’re weak
Its strength pushing through
That we like to keep
Deep inside us so no one will know
If a winner wants something
How far will they go?







We all know life’s tuff,
We feel like we’re cuffed up.
Everyone judging you making you
Hate yourself.
It just makes you feel mad.
You know something but can’t
Say anything because you’re afraid.
But everyone thinks your
Good because you’re hiding
Your feelings away.
You ask your friends for help
But they say “hey, it’s okay”
Nobody understands and
No one listens but someday
The light will glisten.
When that day comes the
Skies will open up and
You will no longer feel
F***ed up.




Rocky Road


Each time I fell, I had no power to get up.
How many times I thought of giving up.
My road was rocky and I had this ramp,
If I didn’t have my faith, I wouldn’t jump

I thought this road went forever
Every second letting my hope disappear
Until the time I saw our saviour
I was in a long nightmare


Fatma Dogan




Broken smile to hide
The broken edges
‘I’m fine’ but she’s not
Everyone sees her as
The girl with the
Bright smile
The crystal blue eyes
She’s perfect
Perfect smile
For a perfect life
They say belittled
On how to act, how to dress
What to say realising
Her capability constantly
Thrown under the bus
Pretending to be some one
She’s not. Challenged by
Her upper class friends or peers
Pretending to be someone
She’s not. All to be loved
All to be liked just
For popularity. Just to not
Feel lonely




Humming Bird Heart


Sometimes my heart beats like a humming bird’s.
I am unable to calm myself.
I feel the pain, the infinite void growing in my stomach.
Is there a reason or has my mind decided
For me that something is wrong?

Sometimes my heart beats like a humming bird’s.
As I lie on my bedroom floor.
Paralysed in my brain.
I can’t escape.
I can’t breathe, I’m drowning

Sometimes my heart beats like a humming bird’s
I am lucky to say sometimes.
These occasions are few.
But every time a tidal wave washes over me and leaves,
I dread the way the tsunami returns.




I really don’t Care


No matter what you do,
Or where you go
There’s always a voice inside your head
That says what they will think of me
They don’t worry about themselves.
All they worry about is you.
They think I care,
But really I don’t


Ciara Rushe




Why does it matter what I look like or
What I eat?
Why does it matter if what I wear fits?
Why do they care if my skin is clear or not?
Why do the care if I have belly rolls
Or not?
I don’t understand how they swim through life
While I’m there drowning under a sheet of ice
Why can they swim strong and proud?
While I’m scared stand up and be loud
Why does it matter that I’m not a model?
Why does it matter that I have chins
And bobels?
Why does it matter if I’m not society’s
Version of pretty?
Why does it change my image of beauty?


Leah Fehrmann




Blue, green, hazel and brown
Ocean eyes.
Green of field on a summer’s day,
Browns of roaring mountains.
Happy eyes, sad eyes.
Eyes full of hope.
Eyes full of nothing.
Eyes full of loss
Flares and specks and rings
Around a beautiful centre
Eyes that spill tears from the corners,
Down onto beautiful cheeks that people don’t see.
Eyes that cry at 3am
Wishing for help, wishing for some
To notice,
To see.
Eyes full of tears formed from happiness
From the laughter
Of good company and memories.
Eyes full of love,
Adoration, connection.
With someone who cares,
Someone who saw.




A Poetry Gnome


What I poetry
Expression or individuality
It’s quite boring actually
My understanding of poetry is
In my opinion, as useless as a garden gnome
It’s just there, no use just flare
“Write a short poem” he said
Now as my pen hits the paper, I’m all out of ideas
But a place to find a garden gnome
Is a place called home, with a pen in hand,
I write my way to another land.


Rebecca Ballintyne


I Aimed for Eight Lines.


I don’t understand
That in a class about
Writing from your heart
I am expected to
Create a universe
On my page
Before the bell rings.






She has luscious black hair which
Feels like a silky, expensive robe
She’s got lashes for days which in
My haze I gaze at until dawn has broken
She greets me when I come home, meeting
Me with excitement and kissing my cheek
She loves to sunbathe; as much as she
Loves me, or so I hope
I hope because she cannot tell me herself
For she is my dog


Bebhinn Reilly




As I lay in Strandhill forest
Spread out on the rushes,
All I hear is the couples
In the nearby bushes.
Contemplating my life
My mum is naggin’
4 missed calls
Why did I ever drink that flaggin
Is this how I die?
Couldn’t think of anything worse
In a few days friends and family
Will follow my hearse




Universal Female Prayer


I wish I had
A pretty face
I wish I had
A skinny waist
If life was fair
It would be so
For I would be happy
With the way I grow
But life is not
And I am not
Once alone
Forever distraught





When I was young
I had to leave my family
And move away from my home town.
To leave my mother, brother, sister and dad.

I went to Ireland and I was
Adopted by a lovely, loving and
Caring adoption family

That took me under their wing
And taught me how to laugh
I am now a teenager
With the best loving and caring
Irish family
And I love them with all my heart


Maria Lyons


Goodbye until Tomorrow


People lie and they cheat
Yet later they expect you to care
I hate it, it’s not fair
He knows that I’m nice, taking advantage each time
It remind me of a game, a real mime
Pretending they care until a better offer arrives
Well I’m not a second choice, you had me once
So stop lying
Enjoy me while you can, one last time
Before I get up to leave you so
You know how it feels
I’ll play
Yet I know I’m gonna find myself here
For you the next day






Why the f*** do boys play with girls feelings?
Playing us like a game,
Well personally I think its lame,
You think we give a sh** if you think your fit?
Oh wow you play county.
Well so does every boy these days.
If you want to get a girl you should change your ways.


Saskia Garvey




A place of peace and tranquillity
And soothing ocean waves
Little children licking ice cream
Relaxing on the hot sand.
Leading up to the trickling water.
I saw him standing there.
Looking beautiful effortlessly.
Should I approach
The love of my life?


Ksenia Grigorjeva


This is the World


This is the world where some
People try to hide who
They really are so they can
‘Fit in’ and not be judged
This is the world where
Some people run from
Themselves and tear down
Other people because they know
They are the same person
They don’t want to be that
Person because some people
Just might not approve
This is the world where
Some people are too scared
To show who they really are so they
See the only thing
To do is get rid of the person
They don’t want to be
Just because other people
Are too scared to be whom
They are does not mean you
Have to disappear.


Aislinn Doggett