Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny



When you walk down the street to calls

Having to try and be invisible, not to stand tall

When you have to smile and stay polite

Even when you know that just isn’t right

When you feel a grab, a squeeze, a touch

And have to pretend that it isn’t too much

Its then you realise you’ve been conditioned by society

To accept these acts of human monstrosities


The Box


Growing up I was told there was a box with rules inside.

No one told me how to get into this box.

“You’re on your own, chicken, sorry”.

Too tall, too short

Too curvy. Why do you have no shape?

You’re frigid, you’re a slag

Wear enough makeup so that you look like a different person

but not too much – you’ll drive the lads away

Listen to this kind of music, don’t be intelligent

Don’t be confident, but don’t hate yourself.

If you hate yourself, you’re weak.

Don’t be dry, stop being adventurous and sit down.

Follow your dreams but they have to be realistic.

Girls are teachers, not architects

You won’t make a living out of being a singer

Do you know how hard you’ll have to work to be a doctor?

It’s a big commitment and you’re not that smart


What if I am committed? What if I am that smart?

You told me to follow my dreams, so why am I being told to stop once I get too old?

I love myself, so why is that a crime? I’m confident, so why is it interpreted as being cocky?

I like to wear makeup and I like to feel good about myself?

I have curves and I like them. what’s the big deal?

I decided to make my own box. This one is too cramped anyway.


“What About Them?”


Mother, please come back,

My siblings screamed.

As we watched her get attacked

For our people are being hunted,

For a sickness that is reigning havoc.


The Chinese virus, Our president calls it,

With a look of disgust in his eyes

Spreading fear in the hearts of the people,

Bringing hate and shame to my life.


Doctors being consumed in their work

Watching people lose their lives to the disorder,

If people only followed the doctor’s orders.

But yet they blame us for this ailment,

Like we could prevent it.


This chaotic calamity breaks up people’s lives,

But with discrimination on the forefront of our minds

How can we slow it down?

With people fighting people over who started it,

We will never stop it now.



Covid-19 came,
but I don’t complain.
My exams got cancelled,
I handled.

Quarantined in our house,
for 6 months.
If leave the house
scared for once

When you sneeze,
they think you got the Disease.
All looking at you,
not knowing what to do.

But at last,
the vaccine’s here.
Can’t wait for the virus,
to disappear.



You make me feel good In more ways than one,
Its like a bee sting but more fun
my friends say your bad for me,
but your the only lad for me,
when It gets cold
you give me your leather jacket that makes me feel bold,
remember that time
we walked through the grass
talked through the forest and you read your book
on the bank of the river
and I looked on as the sun sank and we stared the night
at the stars you looked for the dippers and I looked for mars.
when i look in your eyes I see gentle
when you look In mine you probably see mental but we work,
If you ever cheated i would go bazerk,
we have fun at the start
you told me Im your number one,
we sat by a bonfire with your friends and mine
you gave me your hat and kissed me
and I knew I could never miss you
Id make you stay because I was yours
and you were mine from that day.




We are the silent people,

The people who are not the norm

We are living in an age where stress controls us

We are trying our best to hold up the sky

But eventually our bones will break and our spines will crack,

Crushing us under the weight

We are the silent people

The people you pass on the street showing no signs of struggle

Too scared to speak up

Hoping to do more than just survive.


The World I Come From


I come from a world where what I wear defines who I am

Where women are terrified to walk alone

I come from a world where the most dangerous place for me is my own home

Where statistics tell me I am more likely to fall victim to the hands of a man I trust than anyone else


I come from a world where I was trained not to speak to strangers

Where I was taught not to stray from the group and never to go out alone

I come from a world where my heart rate spikes when I see a group of men

And where “strength in numbers was drilled into my brain” since I could listen


I come from a world where at the ripe old age of 15 I know what it’s like to be afraid

Afraid of cat calling men who could attack at any moment

I come from a world where men replace monsters in my nightmares

I come from a world where I am afraid

I come from a world that makes me afraid


Happy Again


I come from a place of a heartbroken mother

Who felt like she couldn’t cope without my dad.


I come from a childhood that ended on a grey May afternoon

That left me feeling devastated and sad.


I come from a place where I worried

About not being accepted, loved, or just not good enough.


I come from a place where I let the sadness get the best of me

And decided to shut out the world.


I come from a place where I eventually decided

To embrace my past for what it had made me.


I come from a past where they told me to move,

But I made it my duty to plant myself like a tree and say “No, you move”.


Because my past has me strong, and compassionate.

Now I can say I can be happy again.


I Smile


I smile because…

I see green grass and blue skies

Bright eyes taking in the beauty of nature

The crunch of gravel and the chatter of siblings

Hugs from behind and a story before bed

Laughter and milk moustaches after a piping cup of hot chocolate

I feel the sun shine down on my face and feel free




People say, “don’t put me in a Box,

Please, don’t label me what I’m not”

But maybe the hardest boxes to break,

Are the ones we place upon ourselves

And carry around till we have backache.


Because everyone needs something to stand behind when they’re not tall

Something to protect you when you’re backed against a wall.

And maybe it doesn’t bother you at all


But when does your protector become your chains?

When does it start to erase what’s in your veins?

And when the battles over,

Did you use that box to protect yourself or hide?


Male Validation


Needing a bit of attention, validation from a male

Just a text from a boy, to keep you okay

And you try to be that girl, that doesn’t need no man

But you feel alone, cause what else do you have

Maybe I’m just bored, or there’s more to the story


And I can be that girl, until I’m feeling down

And I’m working on myself, and myself only

So I’m not chasing any boys, I’ll get what comes to me

And that is the end of my validation story


What Do you Choose?


I fall into bed my body aching from weariness,

How I wish the world could just slow down,

A minutes peace is all I ask,

How could things become any worse?


But then I think.

I think of those fearing for their lives,

Those who call home a place on the street,

Those who deserve to be cherished and loved and to not be forgotten.


It seems impossible to understand now,

Maybe I will never fully comprehend this strange world we live in.

But I know that I am here, for how long I do not know,

But I have been given this opportunity,

The opportunity of a lifetime and so have you.

How do you choose to live it?


I Was Meant To Be…


You were the one who gave that name

But because I couldn’t keep it I had to take up the blame

Of a problem, I didn’t even ask for

A problem that still leaves me crying on the floor


I was given another role that I couldn’t fill

A pink box that’s even harder to fulfill

Because that box wasn’t for me.


I was supposed to have a blue box

With things like racecars and hawks

And astronauts and heroes

But being made to like Barbie and Bratz

Made me go down to zero


Zero in who I am

Making me think life is a scam

Because I wasn’t born into

What I felt and who I am.


I wasn’t supposed to wear a skirt

And I wish every time that I looked in the mirror

Tears didn’t come when I’d see those features


Those sleepless nights where I’m only crying

All because of things I can’t control

But I keep trying.


I wasn’t meant to be born as the girl that you see.

I was meant to be a man.

I was meant to be me.


Teenage Years


You told us it would be great

Smiling at the world making our own fate

But we learned the truth too late


By the time we realized what these years meant

Our teenage years, encapsulated in cement

Our happiness and passion misshapen and bent


Drowning our sorrows with what we’re not allowed to drink

And know you wonder why we’re all just on the brink

You poured what made us, us all the way down the sink


In such a short time how have you forgot?

How it feels to be someone you are not

This isn’t the time of growth it’s the time of rot


All we learn is how to hide tears

Hard to do when you’re covered in fears

I will never forget these teenage years




Where do I go? How do I feel? Who do I love?

What do I say? When do I start, finish? Why am I here?


Why is the grass green? Why is the sky blue?

Why do we go to school? Why are some people rude?

Why do we need food? Why?


Why can life be so hard but so great? Why are there words such as late?

When is time? When is enough?

Why are there questions that people don’t know the answer to? Why?


Love, hate, warmth, cold, why do things have to be sold?

Red, orange, yellow, green, where has everyone been?


Questions, facts, worries, stress, life can be hard but just try your best.


The Ignorant Lovers


Love drives you crazy

Like the heat in the summer

Many say they understand it

When they haven’t even actually felt it


Love yourself before you are capable of loving others

The greatest thing ever said

But you simply do not understand it

The reason behind it?

Only you can tell


Our Generation


We live in a word where you only get texts in the night

From boys we like. That mostly goes like. You up?

We live in a word where sending selfies is the new norm

And if you don’t do it you’re a bore

We live in a world where you self-love is the best love

But you can’t love yourself too much or you’re attention seeking

We live in a world…


What’s the Difference?


Girls supporting girls is supposed to be right,

But how if putting each other down is always in sight


How is anyone supposed to be okay,

When names always come our way,


The girls that say ‘ it’s okay not to be okay’

Judge others for being gay!


Me being straight is okay,

So what’s the difference if is she’s gay?


Only You


There once was a friend, who told you the truth,

They would tell you everything,

But now something has changed,

They are only telling you what you want to hear,

A mistake has been made that is hard to forgive,

When you trust someone and they break it what should we do,

Should we confront them should we forgive?

Nobody knows the answer

Only you


What We’re Told


We are told the world is so small

When there is still so much to explore

We are told that everyone is unique

And then get called weird for liking different things

We know everyone has different stories

But some people can’t seem to accept this

And so many people think that they are wrong

When really no one is ever completely right


Broke Glass


She stared at the mirror and all she could see was a vision of her broken dreams,

A girl that could not say no to save another soul but let herself cry alone.

She’d seen enough to build a script to make a crowd think” is that really it ”

but behind the movie screen, it was another’s tragedy.


And even if she felt alone it was another story waiting to be told

So when she looked back at the broken glass she just smiled and laughed

Some broken glass just shows my complexion

The only thing that mattered to her was what her soul was reflecting.




I grew up in a middle class family,

I got lots of the things I wanted,

I had a good childhood

I had supportive friends and family.

But there are things I will never experience,

Like being worried about money or housing

I feel as if I need to give back,

And give to those who need it more,

In the future, I will help others,

And help them have a life like mine.





Your stomach is “too big”,

Your teeth are “crooked”,

You don’t have a “thigh gap”

How can we fall in love with

Ourselves, with unrealistic

Beauty standards.

Your eyes are pretty,

Your smile is nice,

Now we can love

Ourselves, with

Realistic beauty





To create a sound: prevent the power going out.

A storm surrounds us. The wind grates and howls

Yet we can light candles.

The rain inverts one’s will to get out

But it creates a sound –

It whispers from outside,

A reminder of the life it will incite.

There’s safety in consistency;

As the rain gradually eases off,

Cygnet extends into swan.


I Hope


I hope that one day I can say your name without feeling any pain

I hope one day I can think about you and it won’t be so strange

I hope one day I can hear our song and not think about all that time that has now gone

But at the end of the day all I can do is hope

Because I don’t know what will happen if I lose control of the ropes

I pull myself together and it becomes less of a show,

It begins to feel like less of a race and more like a fast pace world that

We should not stare at in disgrace

But be thankful that we got to make our mistakes

Because it’s not true what they say we all get a retake


My Chance to Dance


Everyday is a new chance and everyday I try to dance

But prying eyes take a glance and break my stance,

If it’s someone new or someone old

My confidence turns cold now

The world’s ugly truth has been unmasked

Life is like an empty glass

I get so close to feeling full

But someone takes it all away and I feel dull

If not a comment then a stare

And In my body I feel bare

I used to think I could reach the stars

But now all I can reach Is my scars

Broken down and beaten up

And yet in the night when all is quiet

I go outside and it’s my chance to dance




When I am in my own head, “flat as a board”,

When I am alone in bed, “masculine personality”,

When I am not distracted, all I think about is food,

When I am not free from thought, all I think is too much calories.


How can we live in a world where it is all body positivity?

But once we see the unique beauty it’s too different

Compare it to false hopes and standards

That our society as gathered and brought upon one another.


It’s all beautiful until…

Until we say it’s not,

It wasn’t an insecurity until…

Until someone said to do more squats.


More and more made up insecurities will be made until,

Until we want to end our hurting and suffering in the knot in our limb bodies and brain.


I can’t comprehend how we decided to define beauty,

I can’t understand how we decided to create the level of beauty,

I can’t apprehend how we designed and constructed the word to begin with.


This world has created feelings and emotions fit to kill,

Kill all the love, pride and value we carry.

This definition of beauty standards have already wasted so many lives.


I Was the Cause


On the 29th of February the first case travelled through Dublin airport,

On the 29th of February I travelled through Dublin airport.

I didn’t think twice of my limp legs, cough in the throat

Or even the tissues stored in the pocket of my coat.


Unaware of the chaos that would be caused,

Putting people’s lives on pause.

Nurses becoming soldiers,

While oblivious of the closure.


‘Schools closed, schools closed, let me go back’,

With only 2km to track.

Facemasks become our companions, gloves become our friends.

It is now our only weapon we can use to defend.


Scars from the masks imbed on the Front line,

Government decisions making headlines.

From China to Italy to Ireland to Barcelona,

No one will forgot the year of Corona.


Wish you Were Here


You made me laugh

You dried my tears

You made me smile

I wish you were still here




I love the beach

It’s so calm and peaceful

I like the sound of the waves

Clashing on the cliffs


I like the smell of the salty sea

It makes me think of fish

I like walking on the sand as

It makes me feel as if i was

Walking on clouds


I miss the summer nights

Where I was could be wild

And free and not care about anything

Else but the being in the moment


I Am


I look into the mirror,

And the person I see,

Is the person no-one else can be,


I am strong, kind loving and brave,

I am creative, trustworthy, and loving

I am happy and funny

I am me


Big Bones and Full Hearts


I come from big bones and full hearts

But nothing maters if society wants skinny and pretty

And the eyes you get are full of pitty

You learn to put up your barriers

And not do trust

But you get to that age

And the look in the mirror turns to disgust

Those comments stick with you forever

No matter your size

And people should remember

Everyone likes French fries


Growing up


Going into secondary school

Suddenly you’re not so cool

Surrounded by so many different people

Suddenly people care about looks

But in primary if you cared the other kids would be shook


Suddenly everyone cared about going to the next disco

When last year everyone was talking about the cool things you could buy in Tesco

Nobody even knew about fake tan or what to wear

The only thing cool was your runners

Where you go for your summers




It’s not that easy living life,

Especially if you’ve a knife in your back,

The stress, the pressure,

In each one of your cracks.


Having people saying,

You’re not good enough, try again

The pain, the tears,

The level of difficulty,

Within this life.


School is a laugh,

With all its crap,

Is it really learning?

Or is it just a laugh.


I’ll never understand,

Why it wasn’t good enough.


Life as a Teen


You can’t do this you can’t do that

But you can go to the shop for me

People think we have a lack of control

But the truth is we’re just trying to live our best life

So let us make the mistakes and learn from them

As we grow old, we will have the memories to look on

And will only regret what we have not experienced


I Try So Hard


I try so hard my muscles ache,

But I know if I miss there will be heartache,

If I don’t make it,

My team will split,

If it does not go over the bar or into the goal,

I know this will take a toll,

On my confidence,

Those thoughts that were forbidden,

I keep hidden,

My numbers taken,

My nerves shaken,

I will never be enough,

This could be just bluff,

If my family are proud,

Then I am not allowed,

To think these thought,

That will make me frown,

I am enough,

And I will keep praising,

Myself and everyone else.




You go down to see the murky water and waves splashing over you

You can hear the water moving past you

You feel your body heavy

You can hear the mimic of kids jeering

You can hear the water gurgle

As you raise your head above the water

Your eyes hardly open and your hair dripping water

Before taking a deep gasp and going beneath again


Lonely Lockdown


Everyday on repeat like my favourite songs

Nodding in beat

Like the nodding I do during the zoom calls

The loneliness of lockdown getting in on us all

The year we thought was long gone

Wasn’t really gone for long

Cause now we sit home in our rooms

Missing the ones we should call soon

But all of this we hope will end

Before we lose hope that we’ll go out next weekend.




You blow your car horn and whistle at me,

But I was just walking down the street.

You call me whore easy and a slag,

But I was covered up from my head to my feet.


In Our World


In our world, inequality is the new reality

More people being gay? No way!

Being treated equally if black? That’s whack!

We can change what our world looks like

We can all learn to fly.

Let freedom be our guide

The real you, don’t hide.




It is summer time again

The temp is beginning to rise

People going to the beach

Eating ice cream and building sandcastles


As summer ends, we begin into autumn

Its the time young children go back to school

Its the time when deciduous trees shed their leaves

The days now get shorter


As autumn comes to an end now we go into winter

Winter is a cold wet month

The nights get dark at 5

Everyone wrapped up and smell of fire burning


Last up is spring

The days are getting brighter for longer

The trees begin to grow back their leaves

And plants start to flower and young animals like sheep are born


Sick and Tired


I’m sick and tired of this lockdown

I’m sick and tired of no one being around

I just want my social life back again

Those long nights hanging around with friends


I miss the days when I was free

I miss the days when it was the girls and me

I wish this virus would finish soon

And I can go out at noon


Online School


Online school, 9-4, just like a normal day,

Work piled so high, oh my god, please make it go away,

Doing our best, attending all classes, consistent engagement is key,

Teenage years slipping away, oh why did it have to happen to me?


Longing for summer, time to relax, and spend time with friends in the park,

‘Hello girls, are you listening?’, drowned out by a distant dog’s bark,

Vaccines can’t come fast enough, I want my social life back,

Oh no, my computer just broke and the whole screen is gone black!


Broke glass


She looked in the mirror

And all she could see

Was the pain that tore deep beneath,

She’d seen enough to make a movie

And yet nowhere near her twenties.




This pandemic is hard

Staying at home

Online school, no friends , no social

Trying to be positive

But life is showing negatives

I want my life to return

So I can have some fun


Favourite Times


My favourite times are when I’m surrounded by my friends talking and doing what we want.

My favourite times are when I’m spending time with my family by just being with them.

My favourite times are when I’m alone in my room, lost in my thoughts.

My favourite times are when I don’t have to do anything

And just breathe without being surrounded by people.

My favourite times are the opposite of each other

But that’s what makes me like and enjoy them.


Beach days


I arrive to my favourite place…

The beach

The sound of the waves hitting off the shores

And the smell of Dooleys fish and chips

Music from the amusements

Lights from the amusement rides

As you go up and down on the rides

And your stomach is turning and twisting

The taste of the crepes and donuts is a dream

The felling of them touching the back of your throats


Behind a Screen


I come from a small city in Ireland

Not a lot of people so it sometimes feels like a far land

When you make a group of friends, they tend to stay for life

They get you through some hard times and help you survive

We spend our time now stuck behind a screen

We don’t have or get the opportunity to be seen

This is Kilkenny city


All I Want


All I want is for Covid to end

All I want is to see my friends

But it will end soon

And we can leave again


Until then

FaceTime will do

To protect those we love


A letter to My Best Friend


My best friend vow

I trust you with my secrets

A sister by choice


I will forever walk by and support you

If it wasn’t for you id be lost

I promise to trust you with my life

You are the reason I smile


A vow to my best friend


My best friend


We have been through so much

You are my partner in crime

The reason I smile

A shoulder to cry on

A secret holder

I love you best friend


Me and My Money Tree


If you buy me a Range Rover,

You might have just won me over,

I love attention,

If I should mention,

I am not a big fan of affection,

But I would never make it an objection,

You must be funny,

Or at least buy me a bunny.




Basketball is a sport for all

Not just men

Women will call

We all train hard

Day in day out

All of us can guard

Without a doubt





Got me listening to Miley Cyrus.

My dog getting a walk three times a day,

She for sure wants this lockdown to stay.

Back to online school again,

Better take out my copy and pen.