Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green, Co. Dublin


We are told we all matter but no one is told,
It’s on the condition that you fit the set mould.

Little girls knelt in front of the mirror, tears streaming down their cheeks,
As they long for these models’ unattainable physiques.

As they pinch their rolls and long for narrow hips,
These models pump silicone into their lips.

No need to introduce yourself, your gender already has,
Asking for it with those exposed shoulders, the straps of bras.

“She may not have said yes but she didn’t say no”
To settle this do we have any bloodied underwear to show?

Sports gear too tight, school skirt too short or communion dress too pure,
No one was asking for it. Of that, I am 100% sure.

Ella O Brien


She spoke as if
She’d lived a thousand lives
Her soul as old
As a mountain

She felt every emotion
No matter how hard
It was
Never numb to
The pain
Or happiness

Her hair had
Every shade of autumn
From every fall
Since the beginning
Of time

Her eyes changed
Depending on her mood
Stormy green seas
When she was angry
Soft hazel chocolate
When she was happy

Her lust for
Adventure was seen
Not enough
She had
The whole word
In her hands
Yet she still
Couldn’t see
What I saw

She gave me
A whole
Perspective on life.
Without even realising
She changed



I am inspired to work for my future
To map my dreams upon a computer
I celebrate my achievements and reflect on my mistakes
I’m told not to worry when everything’s at stake
I focus on my weaknesses and work at my strengths
I strive for greatness and go to such lengths
I am recognised by my name and not by someone else’s
I listen and learn to understand what real wealth is
I am confident in my ability and am comfortable in my skin
I find that beauty is not exterior but is from within

Sophie Dix

Instincts of Survival

We call upon our instincts of survival
With the need for kindness and revival
We breathe before we walk in to the light
What is important we often lose sight
We feel at our best and we feel at our worst
What I count as our blessings are often a curse
Life could make sense of every little thing
For love, trust and kindness
Give angels their wings

Emer McMullan

Aggressive Words

Aggressive words riddled with hatred,
You’d never know that we were related,
A robber, a criminal, a bandit, a thief,
Oh my lord stop giving me grief,
It was only a jumper, not expensive or worn,
I know right now she wishes I’d never been born,
Items scattered at the scene of the crime,
I huff in frustration “I’ll clean it up in no time”
My older sister still flustered from combat,
“Never come back again you absolute brat!”

Grace Maher

Time after Time

We share a name but nothing deeper,
I was wrong to think you were a keeper.
Time after time, you said you had changed,
I should have known your behaviour was strange.
I saw you every day on the bus,
But slowly ran out of things to discuss.
It was clear I wasn’t put first,
From the beginning, we were cured.


Splash, Jump, Dive

Splash, jump, dive,
In a pool or the sea,
The cold water hits you,
Embracing yourself as you begin to swim,
Up and down up and down,
Gasping for every breath of air,
Turning at the wall,
Taking you last breath,
Heat pounding,
All the way till the end.

Kate Mcevoy

This is Where

Teachers compare us to our peers.
But don’t see all our falling tears.
we are told to roll down our skirts
And to button up our simple shirts
Not to be own true ourselves
But to be like the spines books on the shelves
They only care about how we look and not how we feel
They don’t realise it’s our confidence that they steal
They will notice if your socks aren’t pulled up but not that you were crying
They only care if you are doing badly not that you are trying
Where they humiliate us in front of our peers
As we keep trying our best to hold back our tears
They judge us for how much information we can retain
If only they could understand our pain
We count down the minutes to 3:45
But what the real problem is that we’re barely alive

Mallaidh Breen


We judge elephants and monkeys on their ability to climb trees
A test that is unequal before it was ever complete
Skirt lengths and piercings and pull up your socks
Protect the schools image, whatever the cost
Deadlines and test scores and project due dates
All much important than what’s making you sick
It doesn’t matter you’re tired, doesn’t matter you can’t think,
If it looks good on a report card who cares you might sink
Ability to memorise quotations and dates is of far more value
Than all of things that make you you



LA, city of stars
LA, dripping with tan
LA, full of hope

LA, city of scars
LA, dripping with drugs
LA, kids on dope


Dear Education System

You say everyone is unique
But you use the same teaching method on us all
You say we should be ourselves
But you tell us what clothes to wear
You say everyone is equal
But you assign us a grade that tells us our worth
You say to act our age
But you treat us like children
You say to follow our interests
But you teach nothing that interests us
You say to think outside the box
But you mark us down if we do

You say we’ve failed
But it’s you who has failed us

Only known to her and me

These are scars you cannot see,
They’re only known to her and me.

These scars don’t heal so easily,
That’s only known to her and me.

To my freedom she holds the key,
That’s only known to her and me.

Your nightmare is my reality,
That’s only known to her and me.

From this life I want to flee,
That’s only known to her and me.

But no one seems to hear my plea,
That’s only known to her and me.

And why she can’t just leave me be,
That, will never be known to me.

Maria O’Halloran


It took me years to learn how to click, but
The trick is to remember your last two fingers.
They have to fall before you make a sound.

It’s funny what a click can represent.
A snap of your fingers and you can shift from the present
It’s a strange and unnerving experiment.
Are you willing to try an attempt?


All of a sudden the world fast forwards
It’s one thing after another
Too many things to cover
If you don’t catch up you’re going to suffer
And all the while it’s an unbeatable race
An endless chase
And God, what are we even reaching for?

The pace is relentless
The rules are ruthless
My grades are helpless
My memory’s hapless
My body is graceless
My mind is sepsis
I am hopeless.

What am I even reaching for?
What am I aiming for?
What am I striving for?
What am I living for?

And the world slows down around me
There’s a roaring in my ears, it sounds like the sea
Drowning out what I can’t bear to see
Is the silence worse than the stress?
Cause I’m free to think when not under duress
Free to list every sin to confess
Every instance I did not give my best
Every time that I was just… less.

I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I can’t deal with any rejection
I’m sorry I insist on, then decline all attention
I’m sorry the best way I can help is abstention
I’m sorry you always escape my retention

I’m sorry I use you for self-validation
I’m sorry I avoid and escape condemnation
I’m sorry I can’t deal with a slight confrontation
I’m sorry that I am a walking damnation
A useless, worthless, abomination

Un click.

Because I’m not done.
The war’s not over
The battle’s not won
There’s still no sign of that elicit sun
A false spring is not a real one.
“Here’s the thing” I say, as I pretend to go on
I can’t stop pretending that nothing is wrong.

This isn’t something I can kill with a gun
Something to evade with a terrible pun
This isn’t something I can outrun
I don’t even know what this is.

I can’t see it in a mirror
Or in the print in my thumb
I can’t see what has happened
Or what I’ve become.

Oh god, what is this mess that I’ve made?
What is this catastrophe?
This ungodly calamity
That I have become?

I just need a minute to rest
A minute to keep it abreast of it all
A few breaths



The Ocean

The ocean for me is a blanket of safety,
When you dive beneath the waves you can’t hear a thing,
No hurtful words or mocking,
No pitying or people talking,
I can think without being interrupted,
And swim with no restrictions,
The ocean for me is blanket of safety



I missed you
I’m good


That’s how you see me?

No, I’m just-


I understand



Go to mass
Say your prayers in class
Go to confession, to get out your aggression
Give your donations to save all the nations
Put the money in the basket so when you lay in a casket,
The priest forgets your name
Do all this and you’ll go to heaven
But what if I don’t believe?



Saying goodbye
Making me cry
Tears down my face
I look a disgrace
Feeling sad
A little bit mad
I need a tissue
This is an issue
I can’t live without you
I won’t find someone new


It Hurts

It hurts,
It burns,
My stomach,
It churns,
Why do you care,
About my weight,
You can’t escape,
All the hate,
You say you care,
But you pull my hair,
You like to pretend,
That I’m not even there.



Little things that I notice.
Because I see how your hands shake and your lips tremble
When you roll yourself another blunt.
I see how the bank and society drained
Your only chance at life to make themselves wealthy.
And I see the tears in your eyes when parents pull their children away from you,
Whispering “he’s a drug dealer, he’s dangerous”.

And I know you don’t see the goodness in you,
Because society tells you, that since you’re on the streets,
You’re below everyone else.
That you don’t get the rights everyone has,
Because once you lose your wealth,
You’re not an “everyone” anymore, you’re on the outside.

I see your frustration, your anger,
Because when you’re clean and well ironed people smiled
And handed bubbly glasses to you,
Yet now these same people are the ones who walk past you.
I see your pain, because once upon a time you had a FAMILY,
A HOME, until that tsunami hit,
And now you’re the only thing that was washed up.

I see your coldness, how you’ve turned callous,
Because when you’re vulnerable, all you ever get is nothing.
I see your uncertainty when you pull a jacket
Against your numb body because people will say
“He’s not actually homeless, he has a branded jacket”,
As if living on the streets should mean
You don’t even get the right to clothes anymore.
You’re shivering, when Dublin Street is cold,
But the only warmth you’ve ever known
Is the brandy running down your throat,
So you turn to that instead.

Emma Chi

In my Mind

In my mind, always in my mind
You are beautiful
Do not say you’re not
In my mind

In my mind, always in my mind
You are intelligent
Do not say you’re not
In my mind

A O’Reilly


I see you, because I, ME, WE, have all felt the stone cold,
flinty rejection we give to ourselves, to each other.

So I just wanted to let you know,
That I see when your voice goes unheard, and I will LISTEN TO YOU.

You’re the best. And I see you.



Finding it hard to look ahead
Wishing I could go back to bed
Anxiety high, social interaction is now nigh
Tight skirts, I’m on the outskirts
Baggy jeans is what I chose
This party really blows
Loud music fills the air; I can’t see my friends anywhere
I start to grieve, wishing I had fun
My enjoyment was of this day is none
Back home, anxiety mellows
I was never one for variety

Amy Cashen

My World

I run
Every day
Not because I want to be fit
Or skinny
Or have the perfect body
But because it make sure me feel strong
Because it makes everything seem better
I run to escape what people say at school
To enter a new world for a while
A world without judgement
Where all that matters is taking the next step and pushing through
A world that makes the real world worth it



I have no ideas,
I don’t know what to write.
I lack creativity,
Day and night.

It’s only eight lines,
So it shouldn’t be hard.
I’m not a good poet,
So don’t take my card


Pretty Boys

How pretty boys are! Simply marvellous,
Beautifully carved faces, as if sculpted out of marble and feline like eyes.
Points of information, rigid, tight jaws and a bobbing Adam’s apple.
Long lean necks and wide proud shoulders,
Every pimple, freckle, discoloration like adding stars to a constellation.
Hair curling down the nape of the neck as if suddenly cut short.

How pretty boys are! Simply spectacular,
Smooth rounded cheeks, and delicately arched eyebrows,
Soft, silky hair falling gracefully.
And glowing rosy red cheeks.

How beautiful boys are, just magnificent,
The simplicity of their personalities are just too pure,
They are sensitive beings, vulnerable, pure gold.
Their never-ending kindness is incomparable, un-beatable.

Hundreds of thousands, millions that are all different.
Each are unique.
How pretty all boys are.

Emma Chi

My Week

Monday, could you get worse
Tuesday, you are a curse
Wednesday, why so bleak
Thursday, you have me weak
Friday, you are good
Saturday, my best bud
Sunday, brace yourself

Claire Madden

Her Heart

Kaz and Adz had a flame,
And Lara was to blame,
The flame was bright and full of might,
Until the day she walked away,
Her heart was heavy and Adz was keen,
But unfortunately she was sixteen.
She had to be mean,
To keep her heart clean.



People kicking my seat
With their selfish feet
Packed buses
When the teacher “ssh-es”
Cleaning up after myself
That creepy elf on the shelf
Sunday night
The potato blight

Rachel Danaher

I’m Done

I’m so done, I need to run
You only have nine toes, so there that relationship goes.
People call you gibbo.
I thought you were the one, turns out you’re no fun.
I wanted you to be my boyfriend but you just wanted me to send…