Salerno Secondary School, Salthill, Co. Galway

Walking to the Lake


Walking to the lake on a winter’s day.

Crispy leaves under woollen boots

I trudge my way through trees thick with foliage

Submerging myself in a woodland fairy tale

I come here alone, but this forest is buzzing with life.

Eager songbirds embrace me with a tune

A sleek squirrel scuttles across the pine floor

The climate is not so welcoming.

Dainty droplets of ice drip onto my cheeks

Their coldness seeps into my skin,

Unfriendly and hostile.

On I go, venturing further until I am at the core.

The vast lake meets the sun with such grace,

Both of them are enchanted by this eternal dance.

The frozen water reflects hues of blue and grey,

Painting for me a vivid picture of the bleak sky.

At last, I let my mind relax completely,

As I allow the lake to swallow me whole.


Ode to Earth


From her core we are all gifted with life

She is the friendly sun, peeking her head through the hopeless heavy clouds.

Her face is in the pale of the moon as she tells us goodnight.

Upon her body men fight wars of fire and glory,

Heroes and cowards alike lie in unmarked graves beneath the soil.

Locks of silvery hair float across the vast blue sky,

As she teaches a fledgling how to fly.

We tread atop her skin leaving behind footsteps and destruction,

Rarely stopping to heal the bruises we caused.

She cries tears of rain, pattering on rooftops and pouring into puddles,

Before glowing a glorious rainbow of pride.

She feels our pain, rejoices in our happiness, and loves us all the same,

Though for her torture we are to blame.


I Dance With the Monsters


At night I dance with the monsters,

The ones from underneath the bed and inside the closet,

We dance and sing and shout the night away,

In voices that no-one here would hear anyway.


At night I dance with my monsters,

The rejects and the lonely that no one would approach,

The scary ones they cry wolf about each and every night,

The ones that they say make little children cry and shout.


At night I dance with the monsters,

And they have never dared ask why,

Because no one has ever stayed as long as I,

Because the name “monsters” is just a big lie.


At night I dance with my monsters,

Not by pity or threat,

But because they are not the monsters,

They are our friends and there is no need to fret.


I do so because I have seen real monsters,

They roam the earth so freely,

Not hiding in closets or under a bed,

Not in a shadowed corner or a shed.


And they do not have sharp teeth or claws,

They have a human body with feet, face and flaws.




She looked at you like

You were the brightest planet

In the galaxy, and suddenly I was dull.

You danced in each other’s light,

Captivated by the beauty within your bond,

While I lay lonely

In the darkness of the shadows you cast.

Your life bursting at the seams with

Vibrant colours – my grey hues

Could never compare.


Abandoned House


As we sit on the floor of the abandoned house,

Too drunk to know our own names,

We sit in silence, again drinking as an escape,

Not alcoholics, not depressed, Just teens.

The silence not awkward just perfect.

Lights flicker, cars beep, people calling our names,

We listen as the world goes by

As we sit on the floor of the abandoned house




With sheets like waves

And brain tied down to a stone cold pillow

But the pillow just feels like grey cement

Open your ears for this is my final amend


Graciously told stories with a stretch of the truth

Trying too hard to make memories, to what

Remember from youth

Because I hate it when I feel like I’m not me

But that feelings been growing, spreading, steadily


Quarantined in my own head

Yet still here in my own bed

Wish I remember just how happiness felt way back when

But I need to know myself before I fall in love again


Look Closer


Look at me with pride,

Fulfilled with emotion,

Not as “that” child causing commotion.

Looks at me as if I’m her,

Fill me with praise,

Maybe some eye contact,

Don’t let the voice be raised.

See me how you wish,

I’ve tried to satisfy you.

Don’t look at me like you do,

Or at least not as if I’ve failed you.


Meant to Be


“I’ll support you no matter what” they say

But would they stand by that if I came out as gay?

How am I any different from you?

If you love someone, why can’t I too?


I find it funny how you think you’re a god

That you have never sinned before and always been right.

But if you think that I’m going to hide and not be who I am meant to be,

Then buckle up Mom and Dad, and get ready for the ride.


Ode to sleep


You greet me in the morning

You leave me in the day

When I leave to go and work

You feel so far away


Sometimes you leave me staring in the dark

Most times, you leave me alone

But when you decide to greet me

I know i feel at home


You show me my dreams

But also my fears

You show me what i love

But what also brings me tears


I haven’t seen you in a while

As I lie awake in bed

As memories of my past

Curse the thoughts in my head


My nails digging deeper into my back

Crying my eyes dry

But you wrap me with your warmth

And show me beautiful lies


When you’re here I’ll hold you close

And never let you go

Because I don’t want to wake next morning

But I know that isn’t so


Deep Breaths


A page slapped down on the desk,

Deep breaths,

Relief when I see the A,

Knowing my mum will let me live another day.


I don’t know when it came to this,

Deep breaths,

Depending my self-worth on a grade,

My anxiety is my master and I’m its maid.


Only when I achieve do I feel loved,

Deep breaths,

Lying in bed tears rolling down my face is when I feel like truly me,

Usually my personality is lost in a sea of insecurity.


Hurtful words flown at me from all sides,

Deep breaths,

‘It’s not your life, its mine until you’re eighteen”

Don’t let it affect you, don’t convene.


Staring out the window late at night,

Deep breaths,

Dreaming and wishing of things that could be,

I’ll prove them all, I can do better just they wait and see.




These are the days of our lives




Days spent inside

Days spent aimlessly

Days spent studying. At home. Sort of.

Days spent wastefully

Days spent overthinking, analysing

Days spent waiting


For freedom

For fun

And for the future.


Days spent slowly until they are all gone

The future is near

Our teenage years are nearing the close

Home, inside

We spend the days waiting


Midnight Sky


As I dance in the midnight light

I think about you and I and what we had.

For all those months I have been blinded

By this dream you sold to me

Believing that you fell for me,

I wish I never fell for you,

The anger inside is making my blood boil.


All those times you told me you loved me,

Just thinking about it it kills me to say that,

I loved you back.


I wish you well in life,

Do not flatter yourself too much,

Don’t go and hurt someone else’s heart

Like you hurt mine.




I don’t want to be alone.


And yet I stay here.

Blinded by occasional mirages of joy

And warmth.

Hoping to feel something

That I usually cannot.

When I leave

Its cold

And everything is grey.


I just want to go home





I am the mirror

I see myself as ugly, unworthy

I am the windows,

I fear of being opened on a stormy night and letting all my fears inside.


I am the walls built so high so I can’t be crushed down.


I am a girl with the fear of being opened, cut and left broken.

I fear of being left alone,

Shattered by the weight of myself and the mirror that follows.


One Day


One day I will be able to walk alone in the dark,

Without holding my car key in hand.

One day I will let someone love me for who I am,

And not who I want to be.

One day I will not be catcalled on the street,

In my school uniform.

One day I will be role model to my children who,

Will respect everyone for who they are.

One day




Trapped in a room, four walls and a door you cant walk through.

Staring into nothing, at nothing, for nothing.

Trapped in an endless cycle of being enclosed in a cage,

And being as free as a bird, whose wings have been cut.


Doing nothing, being nothing, as the months drag on,

As boredom comes and goes and leaves you as nothing.

No longer waiting for an end, with only a candle to guide you to it no,

As the flame has long extinguished. Engulfing you in nothingness.


Becoming a tiger, prowling along the four walls, longing to just be free but can’t.

Not then, not now, maybe not even ever.


Staring out windows,

Reading novels, you never had any interest in before,

Doing anything at all to feel something other than the

Nothingness you had long ago began to feel.


Going through the motions. Waking up, logging into school,

Going for a walk, and sleeping again. Waking to repeat the very same thing

The very next day. The next week, the next month. Perhaps even the next year.


Motivation turned to avoidance, to procrastination, and now to uncaring.

Why care, to do what was asked, to become “free” only too inevitably

End up back at the middle. Not the beginning, where there was hope, but the middle.

Back to just being. Once again trapped in a room, four walls,

And a door you no longer care that you can’t walk through.


What is Perfect?


A virus that is injected

Into the skin of every woman, boy, girl and man

Making them feel less than

It is a treadmill running at the speed of light

And we must keep up and fight

To be perfect,

An object


What is perfect?

It is not being you, unique

It is not being seen in a bleak

Sea of people, all puppets on strings

Everyone of them queens and kings

Each one of them under the effect of

What is perfect?


Only a Child


You were only a child.

She is doing better.

She is healthier.

I feel so guilty, I must have done something.

I was silent when she told me

That she had to get help

That she was sad.

I did nothing.

I continued with myself.

No. Everyone wanted her dead.

Remember how she made others feel.

Remember how she made you feel.

But what if I did something too.

What if I listened more.

What if I stopped acting like her.

We were just children.

But I haven’t stopped thinking about you


And I never will.


Ode to the Boy with Dark Hair


Up the road in a quiet cul de sac

There lives a tall boy with dark hair

His downturned eyes appear grey

But when explored are actually

A cold turquoise with splashes of

Emerald dancing around his pupils


The sweet scent of his broad shoulder

In his warm embrace is

What I crave so deeply.

His rosy lips spread in a wide smile

To display his pearly white teeth,

Harmonic voice and occasional witty tone.


Time almost stops when his soft

Fingertips gently interlock with mine.

His laugh is more musical than any birdsong,

Nothing can compare to his tender kiss,

Because I love the boy with dark hair

Who lives up the road in a quiet cul de sac.




My veins beat underneath my skin, so thin,

And my fingertips are so red and tender

With nails as fragile as butterfly wings.

There are no more nerves left to help me feel,

Only the delicate ridges of my fingers

And the ever so slight pressure I put on them to touch.

Each joint has been scraped by teeth or something metallic,

With puffy scar tissue cushioning each of them like a pillow

As they snap and crack out loud with each movement.

Long and calculated in the same vein as spider legs,

Each finger moves of it’s own accord,

Slow and cautious and courteous

As if they’re trying to be quiet in the night

In fear of waking up something larger,

And maybe they’re right for that.


Never Feel Good Enough


Never feel good enough

Stuck here like clockwork

Never good enough

Everyone wants something from me

I’ve to be here there and everywhere

Do this do that, go here

Why aren’t you good enough?

Why am I not good enough?

You’re too lazy

You dont care

Your being a bitch

You’re not being fair

Cop on

Your loosing friends

Why are you distant?

What’s with the mood?

What’s wrong?….

Everything’s wrong

The whole worlds against me

Asking too much





Size small,

Sense of humour,

Clear skin,


Still not worthy of self love


Only tears on a reflection


Lifeguard Days


I feel like I’m a lifeguard

Which is funny because I can’t swim

My swimmers are out there

They look like they’re drowning

They told me they are drowning.


And all I can do is shout

“You can do it, I believe”

I could do something real but I don’t know how

I see the wave they don’t perceive

I am the lifeguard


But I don’t throw the buoy

I was afraid of getting wet

I was afraid of going down

Underneath the black water, I know

What it’s like


Because I have been a lifeguard

All my life. I’ve got too many

swimmers and too much of them are drowning

And too much


Of the tourists are hawking

And asking “what will you do?”

I want nothing but my lifeguard

Days to be done and through


So I say goodbye to the drowning

I turn away and resign

The current will bring them back.




Covid 19 is here

Everything around us has changed

Not only is our health affected

But so is our mental health


The sore smell of the

Hand sanitizer, the smell of

A new clean face mask.

We can’t see our friends anymore

if we aren’t in the same class.


The schools might be closing down

And then where will we be at all

Stuck in a big black whole with

No escaping


We all hope that this is a dream

That we will finally wake from

And leave this nightmare behind us

Hope is for suckers.


Thank you Covid




The best year of your lives,

Pandemic filled and isolated,

Waiting for a sign that we’ve made it,

Hoping for a sign that it’s done,

Little do we know there won’t be one.




When the world is no longer ending

And it’s safe to go outside,

When we can look at each other

Without the fear of our demise,

When the masks don’t cover our emotions

Hiding our smiles, thoughts and pride,

I hope we all learned something about each other

Through our screens and through our eyes.




I can’t explain it,

It’s as if all of my feelings left.

They left, avoiding the pit,

Feelings came attacking back at me, obsessed.

Hands gripping my throat,

I feel myself choking on words.

Spitting my quote,

Just wanting to be, struggling grabbing birds.


My Granny


My granny my queen

Mother of 5 grandmother to 10

She loves us all as she says


From her brown bread to her dinner

She makes nothing that isn’t nice

She opens up a bottle of wine on a Friday night


Golf is her passion

She plays twice a week

She won ladies captain

What a thing to achieve


She loves watching hurling

And having her hair done

Nails always painted as she should


Holidays are her favourite

Especially in the sun

She comes home looking like a burnt hot dog bun


You May Think


You may think we are aliens,

You may think we are weird,

But in reality we are stronger than you.

They say we can be here,

But then they tell us oh no my dear.

I love a girl,

How does that make me any different?

Why can you not love me for me?


Never be Like You


I, will never be like you.

Because I don’t want to.

Every time I see your face oh boy you make me fume.

What the hell is wrong with you.

You’re supposed to be my friend.

My mate as they call it,

Your supposed to be there for me

And make me feel some form of fate as they call it.

Yet instead you lay around judging others and only thinking of yourself.

Now I’m bad with poems, so I Shan’t rant any longer.

But dear reader. This has to be said

Dear anonymous

You’ve lost yet another friend.




Dear mom, you raised me

Dear brother, you made me laugh

Dear sister, you tested my patience

Dear nanny, you thought me

Dear grandad, I miss you

Dear my best friends, you are everything

Dear my geography teacher, you’re my inspiration

Dear dad, why’d you leave me?


Cracked Mask


Perfected smile,

Shield tears,

Cracked mask,


Faltered smile,

Burdened shoulders,

Heavy world,

Head hung.




Covid 19 has affected the lives of so many.

Since March it has been the only thing on the telly.

We all left school, they had to shut.

Online classes were a pain in the butt.

No going out to see friends for fun

Coronavirus everywhere! Nowhere to run!

They let most things open in Mid July.

We went back to school to give it a try.

Masks are the latest thing we all must wear.

Someone needs a pen? Sorry we can share!

Now its January everything’s shut again

When will this terrible nightmare end!




Stressed, oppressed, lemon zest

I go into the world, then come home to rest

Feeling blessed, I detest, the troubles life places on my chest

Pressed, I drift into a daze

Not one of praise, but one of blaze

And after a while the ways and weighs

Lift from my gaze

And I upraise to my brighter days


Lockdown Number 3


Lockdown number 3, I’ve stopped complaining and just accepted it.

I miss my friends I miss school I miss my family

My dad works in the evenings, my mom takes care of my grandparents, my sister studying hard

At times, I feel all alone.

At times, I mope around the house doing my chores and doing my schoolwork

At times, I blast my favourite songs and dance like no one’s watching.


I can keep doing this until March

I can keep doing this until March

I can keep doing this until March




School life is such a bore,

Teachers expectations growing more and more,

School work feels like such a chore,

Until the bell rings at four.

What is all this homework for?

It all seems like such an eyesore,

All this work goes towards my score,

My score in life, my score therefore.

School life is such a bore.