Salerno Secondary School, Threadneedle Rd, Salthill, Co. Galway


Darkness suffocates the few rays that dare to surface
But for those who persist, there will ever be a place.

Dreams are shattered, splintering minds into uniformity,
Except for those who defiantly value originality.

We are ants, behaving as a unit, not as individuals.
Yet some resist, soaring on private principals.

When freedom burns, oxidising into chains of smog,
Some combat on, choking on their monologues.

This is where we lose ourselves and become replicas of them.
For, if we don’t, we’re eternally condemned.

Alocin Murphy

Lost at War

I ran.
The wind pierced through me like shards of glass. But I felt nothing.
I couldn’t see anything, as my sight was clouded by the fog and determination,
As I trudged through the snow, my feet heavy like ice.
I felt nothing… Until I saw him.
Stark white like the snow he lay in, like his deathbed.
Blood trickling from the wound on his chest and down his arm,
As if it were the last fragments of his life seeping through his fingers.
Then I felt it. Feelings stronger than I had ever felt before.
All at once, my emotions came at me like a thunderstorm.
I screamed but I could hear nothing but my heart pumping… And his still.
I ran though my feet would not carry me fast enough.
I fell at his side and I cried burying my face in his arms and holding him close one last time.
I felt like I was drowning and I would drown forever.
Never escape yet never cease. In constant pain.
I shut his eyes as my tears fell silently.
I felt as though I was shutting away all the goodness and light in the world.
But I remembered his last words, and laying the rose I had brought gently on his uniform,
Amongst the medals earned from bravery.
As the storm closed around us…
I said goodbye.

Susan Morton


If words are weapons,
Then where were words when words were wanted?
When we wished we could quip back,
To a mean snap, or a fast rap.
But we’re left there speechless, our mouths just a gap,
Without words a gaping hole only good for eating and shouting,
Because there’s no doubting,
That without words, we are animals,
And yes it’s completely understandable,
That we all are technically.
But when we use words, let them loose lyrically,
Legitimately, express love and life, eventually, realistically,
With words at our utility.
Like a lightning strike in a storm, we stand out,
And that’s what beings are about,
Because words set us apart,
Expose true feelings torn out of a beating heart,
Articulates things and unites us,
Thus, we make up words,
But words make us up.

Eimear Quinn

My Strength Lies Within

This is where my strength lies
Inside of me, where all my insecurities die.
Thinking freely, saying what I want to say,
Being un-apologetically me each and everyday.

This is where my strength lies
Like a tornado dancing inside
Even though I wouldn’t dare to show it,
Sometimes…. Confidence… I wouldn’t always know it
Comparing myself to others,
Calling myself words that cut deep as a knife,
People feeling the need to “remind” me
That my struggles, will never compare to their messed up life.
“What is wrong with me ?!”
I would scream
Popularity, friends, good grades,
Things that I can only achieve in my dreams.

I refuse to be silenced,
To be pushed away like I don’t matter,
I refuse to around people who wouldn’t care
If, for some reason, all of my dreams were to shatter.
If I don’t love myself,
Nobody else will.
I have a life to live, sights to see,
And dreams to fulfil.

If there is one thing that I must remember,
In this life full of toil and sin,
It is that my strength.
Oh my strength,
It lies within.

Loretta Ojo


“Don’t worry”
But they don’t see the pain you’re in,
They have no idea where you’ve been,
Or how you would even begin,
“Don’t stress”
But they only see the little things,
Not the hurt that they will bring,
Or how bad it will sting,
“Don’t panic”
But again they don’t see the walls,
They can’t see that they’re treating you like a doll,
But still they won’t hear your calls.


My Dad

Having a father, not a dad.
How we re-meet on weekends.
How I have to think of things to talk about.
How nothing flows as it should.
How we live living on opposites sides of the country.
How we have awkward encounters.
How I miss having him here.
How I miss my dad.


I’m Scared

I’m scared of how strong dreams can be,
And yet I find, they call to me,
This is where my dreams hide,
I keep them deep and locked inside,
I often dream of other places,
Somewhere with new, shining faces,
I hear sweet voices singing songs,
And feel that’s where my soul belongs,
These dreams I have tumble out and scream,
But I am scared of how bright they gleam,
And I am scared and I can see,
That this sweet dream may never be.

Siobhan Royle

Happen for a Reason

Everything happens for a reason
I keep reminding myself
Good things happen,
I trust things are looking up
Bad things happen, I suppose it’s for the best
It doesn’t always feel like that
But in some way shape or form
Things happen and we learn to accept



I don’t understand
Why some people in this land
Use all their energy to hate
Use all their energy to discriminate
Against those who love the same sex

It’s not something we can prevent
And yet they seem hell bent
On saying that we can change
Or telling us that we will burn in hell, that one seems to be all the range

I am a girl who likes girls, it’s true
But that doesn’t make me any different from any of you
So you are a homophobic louse
I would suggest going back to your house
And do something else with your time instead.



The day she fell ill my heart broke in two,
For it was something no one should have to go through.
Her scars were hidden from people who didn’t look,
She only exposed herself to those whom she could trust.

Inside her head raged a war,
A battle neither of us prepared for.
Her problems became mine,
Intertwined like roots buried beneath time.

She wore her battle bruises like armour, and though no one knew
Her heavy breath and purple eyes became obvious signs of her blue.
Questions were asked and whispers could be heard,
What had become of that poor little girl.

Every day she swam the sea of impossibility,
Drowning and resurfacing.
Perhaps I was wrong, though I thought I was right
A decision was made and whether right or wrong I will not know

But her sea is calmer now, the waves have settled down
And even though I no longer swim in her sea
I will always be glad for what came to be.


Social Media

Social media, what can I say?
It does my head in every single day.
It starts with Snap chat and snapping your friends,
Then the pressure to keep streaks never ends.
Instagram feeds full of models and memes,
Celebrities posing with lives ripped at the seams.
Taking pictures, worried which ones to post,
When knowing but not caring we’re killing our host.

Katie Walshe


I like how they can be anything,
How they can be softer and feminine,
With soft stomachs and thighs,
Or sharper and angular,
With jawlines and bright eyes.
Or they could be something completely different.

Either way, they are all their own people.
How strange that they all manage this in some way.
How powerful that makes them.


In the Mirror

In the mirror I stare
Imperfection everywhere
I wish that I could look like her
Flawless skin
Ocean eyes
Golden hair
Skinny thighs
She lives in a perfect world with her perfect life
While awake, I lie at night
Dreaming of being someone new
Why do I have to look like me
I feel like a monstrosity

People feel like this everyday
We wish they could see it our way
Embrace and love yourself
While there’s still time


This Is Where

School is where kids go to sit in rooms for hours,
Where they sit and act as if they’re dead flowers.
Your bedroom is where you go to avoid the world and all that’s in it,
And you sit in the corner trying to fix it.
Hospitals is where brothers and sisters are born to annoy you for life,
And then they grow up and are always in fights.
People with trust issues learn that friendships aren’t bad,
And learn that their problems change to happy from sad.
Kids are the bosses and adults are the children of the world,
Try to help them blossom to young men and girls.

Shauna Donaldson


This is where we go to relax after dinner,
And get to feel like Gods golden winner,

This is where the quiet waves are at their loudest,
Where I dance ’til I’m at my proudest,

This is where they go when they are scared to speak,
And then they pick up the courage to reach the mountains peak,

This is where we eat all the chocolate we have dreamt about,
Then our stomach are so sore all we can do is cry out,

This is where the best dreams you could dream came true,
Never thought I’d find someone like you.

Eva Clancy

What is Silence?

Silence is the sound after you slammed the door and stormed out.
Silence is the skip of a heartbeat and your throat tightening.
It’s what you hear when you’re head is so full of thoughts you can’t concentrate.
Silence is the chime of a text your dreading to read.
Silence is not knowing the answer in class and you can feel 30 pairs of eyes staring into your soul.
It’s walking over to people and they instantly stop talking.
In reality, silence is not something we hear
It is something we feel.

Siobhan Mulry


You walk through the door and know you’re loved,
A roof over your head that makes you feel snug.
Dusty frames tell the stories from childhood,
As memories and journeys remembered as good.
A place that means the world to you,
Where you loved, laughed, lived and grew.


What’s it Like to Fall in Love?

What’s it like to fall in love?
I wouldn’t know it’s all pretend,
So much wasted to fail in the end.
You’re led to believe you’ve found something good,
But you broke us like you said you never would.
Over a year, what’s it all for?
I opened my heart while you closed the door.
Now I’ve learnt not to fall in love,
I feel like a night sky with no stars above.

Zoe Powell

Keep Going

Primary school, no pressure to be cool.
Unaware, not a care.
In the house is Dad, nothings that bad.
Achievements high, time for goodbye.
Secondary school, what a whirlpool.
A change of scene, time to be a teen.
Absence of Dad, makes me mad.
Hormones gone wild, no longer a child.
Music and sport, keeps me sane.
I have problems, but I cannot complain.
Social media and popularity are a weight.
Wish I was born, in 1978.
Nonetheless, I will keep going.
Be my best me, and keep my life flowing.


My Life

Have you seen my life lately
All battered and bruised
I’m practically half beaten between
Homework that will never be used
Or all of those jobs that I have to do
Well my life’s a drag
What about you?


My Pride

As my pride gets shattered to pieces,
In my sadness I binge on recess,
I think all day and wonder why,
He makes me want to sigh and cry,
My dreams of him were severely crushed,
But I cant help when I see him he gives me a rush.

Oonagh Owens


We learn stuff just for exams
Where we just end up being not very calm
We meet new people and talk to our friends
And you wonder who will be there till the end
We are forced against our will
And the thought of it makes you ill

Ellie Lydon

The Sun vs. Storm

It’s so easy to pretend that nothing’s wrong,
To wear a mask and be strong,
To shine a spotlight on only you and let the shadows disguise anything true.
It’s fun to pretend that all is well,
Though my life is nowhere near hell.

Behind my back are the raging shouts,
Threats of divorce I could do without.
Fights over everything, from money to chores.
My mother tries to make light of things, apologies, jokes and warns about wedding rings.
I should never marry a man who does this and that, with obvious references to my father.

They’re both so stubborn and won’t surrender, equally matched and both to blame.
My mother on holiday walks off, and I’m torn in half.
I wish to support my dad, but I want a mother too.
We did a unit on solving conflict in school, and my parents would fail every single test.
All they want to know is whose best.

In so many instances, with both family and friends, I feel like the glue.
I’m the connection in a conflict, the bonds in a brawl, it’s me who makes sure no one falls.
I reach out to the seemingly friendless people I see,
Because I know how it feels to have nowhere to be.

Then, the next day it may suddenly be gone, everything’s fine and we can move on.
But I wonder if they remember what’s happened, if the storm is really gone.
And it seems this time it has passed, though this one seemed longer than the last.
But I’m happy again and that we’ve moved along, I feel happy again and I can be strong.

Not every day is perfect, not every day is bright. Some days the clouds, so grey, will shield the light.
But through it all I know everyone around me loves and cares for me, and they wouldn’t let me fall.
They support me, they love me, both my friends and family.
I don’t have to pretend all is well today, because for now I’m happy on my way.


Social Media

I can’t leave the house without my phone,
Cannot go a party without posting a million selfies and pictures about the night
We depend on social media too much that it has taken over our lives
Giving us names from our peers, like anorexic because we don’t eat
Or because we cant put weight as are bodies wont store fat

Teenagers are starving themselves to fit into a group
And they can’t wear the same thing to a disco as their friends
Because it looks better on them then you
Getting private messages from people calling you names
And just to make them feel like the better person

People are seeing pictures online of an outfit
And it goes up to a particular size
And you feel like you are obese or anorexic
Because you can’t get the outfit of your dream.

And then you say social media is the best thing ever

Rachael O’Neill

The Middle

Stuck in between my friends,
All I want is to make amends.
How am I supposed to choose?
Knowing, one of them I will loose.

I have to decide which life, I will abide.
But my hands are tied.
I am only a teenager,
But my choice is major.

This obsession with perfection.
The pressure to be fresher,
To be perfect, to succeed,
To please.

Constantly under the microscope,
Walking a tightrope.

But your teenage years are the best years of your life…or so they say.


Late Night Prep

Late night prep: shower, tan, pack
Next day we all come in looking black
We spend hours getting ready
For the three hour event
We take so many pictures
Our phones run out of storage
Finally the disco begins
Only for it to end in a flash
It was definitely a night to remember.



Girls can be so fake,
Oh how I cannot take,
How two faced all the girls can be,
It really is a shock to me.
Fake smiling, fake laughing, fake everything,
They’ll do anything to be part of the popular ring.
Popularity changes people,
It makes them turn totally evil.

Peeling their way through everyday life,
They’d stab anyone in the back with their silver knife.
Social climbing all the way to the top,
Once they get there, they just cannot stop.
Gossiping and judging about anything they can,
Even if it’s about their best friends man.
Popularity doesn’t matter, it’s all just a phase,
In a few years they’ll realise they got caught in the blaze.


My Friends

Days of laughing, nearly crying
Nothing like a day at school
A school day would be incredibly boring
Every day is like an april fool

Days are filled with gossip and laughs
Giggling and sniggering all day long
Wouldn’t be the same without a few photographs
Maybe even a little sing song

Whispering when the teacher is talking
Trying so hard but I can’t hold it in
Obviously, within seconds I end up sqwuaking
And the teacher can’t help but grin

The meaning of this poem is simply to explain
That even on a Monday
Even if my mom is a being a pain
My friends will always make my day



Our voices rise in the heat of the fight.
Neighbours peer from the curtains of night.
My anger is bubbling, I cannot contain,
The exact same argument over and over again.

I get up and storm out, slamming the door,
My throat hurts from shouting and my heart is sore.
I can feel the tears coming, there’s a lump in my throat.
There’s a storm on its way and it’s rocking the boat.

* Not from personal experience.

Francesca Woods


There’s a group of Koreans, all similar in age
They sing and dance, perform on stage.
They sing about topics such as sadness and pain
But also about why we should love ourselves yet not be vain.
They bring me happiness and lots of inspiration,
I hope that someday they’ll visit my nation.
They go by the name of BTS
And as a fan, I’m very proud of their fame and success.



When we were young, we could barely reach the handles,
Now on our birthday, we can scarcely deal with life’s scandals,

Reminiscing on the day we let go of our common sense,
We now have the urge to celebrate life’s recent events.

We fill ourselves with oodles of cake,
To help numb our throbbing heartache,

With each new cake and coming age,
We slowly demolish the walls of our cage.

Alocin Murphy and Eva Clancy


Everyday there is another fight between the girls,
Something small resulting in the end of the world.
Someone said this or she did that;
“You’re so annoying” or “She called me fat”.

Quarrels over toys,
Become wars over boys.
We can all be a bit sly.
Is it true or another lie?

We will be best friends
Till the very end



School is where people judge you for everything you do,
No matter who your with to the clothes you seem to wear ,
You sit in crowded rooms with ones who think they are great,
Even though I seem to hate
The friends I have seem to think the same,
Which makes me feel less insane



Global warming hitting Salthill
Jumping off the peer for a cool thrill
This was all part of our plan
Going to see Ed Sheeran
Stumbling along the prom
Hoping I don’t run into my Mom
More days like this

Abby Kelehan


One thing that always stresses me out,
Is the day of a disco.
When this day arrives I’m filled with doubt ,
Weather my hair looks good and if I’m tanned enough.
Am I dressed good enough to be noticed tonight,
And being hammered , hoping there’s no fight.
All I want to do is to forget this day,
Thank god none of my memories stay.



This for the teachers,
That expected me to care,
But all they do is stare,
Sitting there judging and shouting,
Knowing that you`re doubting.
‘Do well in all your tests`
All you care about is your pay cheques.



Stumbled on the bus
The guards watching wishing they were us
Leaving the lights of the City Centre
For our disco in November
The bus journey in the back
Traveling to the outback
The smell of one million
Not a sober civilian
Arrived to the smell of cow dung
Pretending we weren’t drunk
These are the nights we will remember
Can’t wait to go on another bender


Thursday Night

11:30 Thursday night
Struggling to put the tan on right

Friday morning applying my makeup
Hoping it doesn’t lead to a breakup

Mom drives the car like a drag
Hoping she doesn’t check my bag

Putting on our dresses
My friend’s dad say we look like messes

Eating takeaway pizza in the kitchen
Glad I didn’t have to chip in

Driving out to the bus
All the parents making a fuss

On the bus drinking naggins
My friends start to look like dragons

In the disco I try find a boy who plays county
One who dosent look like a bounty

It’s the end of the night trying to sober up
Chugging water out of a cup

It’s the end of the night.
Hoping my parents don’t start a fight or get fright



Music affects everyone differently
Some dance
Some cry
Or even sleep
It can relax your mind and excite your soul.
Some songs can connect with you, some don’t
Music is story telling but in a way that doesn’t limit you to words
Music can also be made by instruments and technology
But there’s one thing we all know
Is that music is in everyone’s life

Chloe, Clare and Ciara


Mom got me a ticket for Longitude,
So nice of her to do,
Better start showing some gratitude.

Picked out my outfits months before,
Mom told me I looked a bit like a whore,
so I left the room, slammed the door.

Got on the bus with all my friends,
Drank my whole naggin,
Luckily loads of people gave me ends.

Bus pulled up outside the venue,
Seemed I only needed one thing,
Thank God pints were on the menu.

How would I get them without ID,
Sadly none of my friends looked like me,
This was not how Longitude was supposed to be.

Suddenly it hit me, a really good plan,
I walked over to a lady and a bearded man,
They bought me three pints I payed them and ran.

Had a blast all night,
Rapped with Travis Scott,
Sure what else would you expect from a Salerno Thot.


Summer Time

I tell my mom I’m going out to play
Following the boys
Who like to make a lot of noise
Longi is gonna be lit
Its gonna be a hit
Gaelo is on the way
I hope I get the shift everyday
Down at Blackrock
I can barely walk
Every day we are going swimming
I’d want to start the slimming
I feel I’m gonna fall
I hope my mom does not stall
House party every week
We like to think we’re at our peak
Can’t wait for summer
I hope it’s not a bummer



Your music has the impact of art
Every lyric stays close to my heart
Your music makes me feel
Your music lets my heart heal
All I can do is sit and admire
How many people you seem to inspire
But unfortunately you’ll never know your impact
And you had no idea they were planning an attack
But I’ll see you again some other day
So please don’t let our sky’s go grey

Sibeal and Lauren


My mother was not a fan
Of that ‘awful cocoa brown’ tan
Hopping onto the dodgy buses with our short skirts
Heading for the outskirts,
Getting on the bus sober
In the morning id feel the hangover
Ballymac was the place to be
All screaming like the banshee
The lads with their bloody knuckles
All their little tensing muscles
Finally on the way home
Knowing the next time will be just as tome


Came Home

Came home, I swear I’m sober
You won’t be out again until October
What were they to think?
I was spewing in the kitchen sink
Not a morsel in my tummy
The vodka coke was not so yummy
A change to my personality
I hope this is not reality
This better be a shift and drift
Or a generous birthday gift
That big long kiss
Is one to reminisce
As I must remember
I will not be out before November
Of course, on the way back
Stop for a cheeky Big Mac