Salerno Secondary School

Art by Lynn MacPherson



Cold air meets my bones,
While my feet trudge along.
It’s slow-
But I have no place to be.
I don’t know where this will lead me,
But that’s OK,
I’ve never been too sure in myself anyway.
I’m unsure what motivates them,
My little walks to nowhere.


Double Standards

Be nice, be kind,
Be happy, be blind,
Internalise what society says about you,
But keep in mind you’ll be destroyed if you respond to what they do,
Be soft, be sensitive,
Be respectful, be attentive,
Understand that even if you think you’re clever,
A boy will always do it better.
Be strong, make demands,
Be smart, be a man,
Never go down without winning your fight,
That’s how it is, boys will be boys, right?
Be secure, be a leader,
Be a real man, not a feeler,
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you,
You’ll be destroyed if you respond to what they do.


My Friends

From fairy tale poems to lifelong goals,
From discovering someone new, to making memories with you,
From class in the morning, to gossip after school,
From being scared at everything to thinking we’re cool,
Walks, parties, discos and all,
Even giving each other a sneaky look in the hall,
My friends are people I aspire to be,
My friends are the people I hold the closest to me.



From the intrinsic bright white peddles
To the fancy dark jet black peddles
From the mysterious minors
To the calming majors
It shouldn’t make sense
But it does
It lifts me up with life and happiness
And makes me question my life without it.



I feel like I’m always running,
My legs, my life, my heart,
Time is always flying,
I don’t know when to start
Doing something meaningful
And working on myself.
I want to be better
More than an object on a shelf.
I want to improve my credentials
But I keep running from my potential.


These Walls

These blank empty walls hold secrets of others that can’t be shared,
These walls balance the heads of drained students with bobbling heads,
These walls were built to hold the structure of buildings, but on the inside?
On the inside they are scratched and bruised but no one asks why.



I want to know the unknown
And understand the way you think
I pay attention to your tone
I wish it would all link.

I believe it’s the truth
And maybe I’m naive
Maybe it will go with my youth
I don’t know what to believe.


To You

If I could fly, I’d go right to you
I’d give up everything, just ask me to
Would you listen if I let my guard down, completely defenceless
I’ve got scars even though they can’t always be seen
And the pain gets hard but when you’re here I can’t feel a thing
Right now, I’m completely defenceless
I can feel your soul in mine
Know that I’m just wasting time…
I hope you don’t run from me.



The one person,
When understands when it cannot be understood,
Who listens when you want to be silent,
Who catches you when you fall,
The one person you need,
In a world full of competition,
A true mother is the companion,
The one person that truly matters.


An Ode to Love

What is this feeling bubbling in my chest?
Who is this in my mind not letting me rest?
You seem to be wherever I go,
It seems as though you cannot leave me alone,
You appear before my eyes,
But the ropes get tighter when I cut the ties,
I thought we had parted ways,
Never to speak of each other for the remaining days,
Hate, your greatest enemy and dear old friend,
Tells me you have a message to send,
To ignore you any further would only be a sin,
Love, it seems as though, you will always win.



It’s not as bad as others
Not near as detrimental
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter
It’s not accidental
Tell yourself it’s not that deep
Skipping meals, “I just forgot”
But the self-satisfaction leaking in
Evokes the thought maybe not
Thousands of girls deal with this
Both older and younger
A health kick is all it is
What’s a little bit of hunger
I’m still happy as ever, this poem isn’t about me
I’m not looking for attention
But for vulnerable girls all over the world
Just thought it deserved a mention.


The Place I Call Home

The Mountains,
My safe space,
My peace,
My freedom.

Another walk through these empty school halls filled with people,
Another bus ride to the gym,
Another hard day I have to get through,
All I think about is my longing for the mountains.

A Sunday once every month or two,
I escape to my home with my dad,
A home we both share,
To the mountains.

The river water lapping,
The sheep grazing peacefully,
The waterfall dashing into the plunge pool below,
The ravens souring through the sky calmly.

We go for our hill walk engrossed in nature,
Completely present in the moment,
Talking about life,
In the place I call home.



Every day was the same
Until one day
The day I met someone
Someone who made me smile
Someone who made me laugh
Someone who shaped my friendships
Someone who made me cry
Someone who brought me joy
Someone who brought me pain
Someone who is not just someone now
Someone who is everything.



I slaved along, heavy footsteps, in the wet marshland.
Beside the river, it was damp and soggy,
The sky was grey, and I was further in, than I could withstand.

Then I saw it, creeping towards me, slowly,
A creature more winsome than I could ever describe,
Four hooves beneath a strong pristine body, head hung lowly.

Its mane hung long on its right side,
Its tail trailed across the ground,
Its black eyes shone with innocence, as it went to hide.

I stuck out my hand, petting its big pink nose,
Calming the glorious horse as I rounded to its back,
My hand on its withers, I walked up close.

The lustrous creature made no move to stop me,
Stood there with a newfound confidence and I
Swung up onto its back merrily.

How could I have known? That it could become such a beast?
As it bounded to the water, its coat becoming ragged,
It’s lust for blood becoming apparent as its eyes shone with mischief.

Too late I realised I could not jump away-
This monster lunged to the river with me stuck to its back,
The eldritch horror it became had led me astray.

And now I plunged to the depths
Water filling my lungs
Trusting appearances led to my death.


What is Beauty?

You tell me I’m beautiful
But I’m too ordinary
Here’s some make up to fix that
Chemicals for my face
Can’t be too different
Can’t have too much colour
you don’t want to stand out
You say birds are beautiful
Am I not like one, graceful and elegant flying through life
You say statues are beautiful
But statues are commonplace in museums
Exactly what you don’t want me to be
You can’t compare me to something that’s not living
Is life not the most beautiful thing
Always growing and evolving
You say she is beautiful
You shouldn’t pit me against someone else
Everyone is unique
You may not like that but we are
I am like everyone else
I am a human
But I’m not like you
You don’t know my life
My thoughts
The things that go through my head when I see you looking at me
I am ordinary but different
And I am beautiful
What is it anyways?


In This Place

From the yellow brick walls to the dodgy projectors
From the toxic atmosphere to the judgy girls
From the information shoved into our brains to our self-worth on a simple piece of paper
From student council members to the prefects
From the sport prodigies to the next Beethoven
From being treated like children to the expectations to act like adults
From being encouraged to try to being shamed for making mistakes
All of this just to be forgotten
The life of an all-girls secondary school.


Cycling Nowhere

I hate school
I hate the expectations that come with school
I hate the broken projectors
And the way we are seen as inferior
I hate that how smart we are decides our future
I hate the repetitive early mornings
And the stressful traffic that makes you nervous
That you’re going to be late to the place
You don’t even want to go
I hate that all we see in front of us is an endless cycle
Early mornings
Late sleepless nights
Wondering when life becomes our own to decide.


10 Things I Hate About You

I hate the way you look at me all smug
I hate the way you talk
I hate the love you gave me
I hate your friends
I hate how you shift the blame
I hate the way you made me feel
I hate the texts you sent me, the lies you told me
I hate how you tricked me and made me feel alone
But mostly I hate who you’ve made me, I hate being full of hatred.


Plight of the Cupid

Why? Why do I help others fall in love when I want to so bad?
Why do I help the one I love, fall in love when I want him so bad
The one I love who loves another, which will never be me
The one who makes me laugh and cry
The one who loves another, inside I die
To keep him for myself
Instead I keep my heart on a shelf.



I am more than the food I won’t eat,
The sounds and rhythms I play on repeat
The things I hate and the things I love
Differentiate me from the person above.

We are more than just a life,
Our thoughts and feelings our wit sharp as a knife
The fact we both like jumpers or cats
The fact that you like this, and I like that.

But somehow, we all come from the same earth
Yet we are all so different right from birth
Our change, our course and our pride like a light
Make us true and make us right.


In My Head

My biggest critic, it’s always there,
My outfit, the way I act, my voice, my hair,
Nothing is ever right, I can always do more,
I have to do better than I have done before.
The voice in my head makes me question it all,
Makes me feel like my life is a downward fall.
I will never be lonely, I cannot escape,
The constant critiquing of all my mistakes.



The walls of a room that isn’t mine
The walls that watch me walk this line
A circus performer who made a mistake
A person who entertains just when they break
An actor who’s acted their whole life
To not live in a house but survive
Family means more than name
You need to write to stay sane.


What’s Inside

A tired smile,
A tired laugh,
The long walk to the desk,
They eyes of the class on my back,
Hoping and praying they don’t see.

The sleepless night behind that smile,
The tears behind that laugh,
The motivation behind that walk.


Andrew Tate Poem

Andrew Tate,
Is someone women hate,
He will never find a loyal date,
As women can’t relate,
He says stuff out of date,
Which makes people not want to be his mate,
He should be kept in a crate,
And bait.

Women find him hard to rate,
He teaches boys to discriminate.

We hate Andrew Tate.


Colour My Life

I see you in the sunset, so orange
I hear you in the gym door hinge
I watch football and all I think of is you
I miss when we met, again that’s all I want to do.

The thrill when you asked me to the ball
But then Nutella came and you were mauled
When we talk you are always so keen
All I want to know is do you really love me?


This Not That

Temptation and lust
Stay hidden, I must
Be calm and happy
But work for it, it’s a luxury.

Keep your head down,
Talk not at all,
But keep the crown up
Let it not fall
Keep your tears in
Let them not show.

Why, when I ask to talk,
You tell me no?
A joy today, a burden tomorrow.


Hat’s Cat

I saw a cat fall from the hat
That cat was very fat
That cat sat in the boat that would float
That cat took a nap on my lap
I love that fat cat.



I hate school
I hate the expectations that come with school
I hate the broken projectors
And the way we are seen as inferior to teachers
I hate the repetitive early mornings,
As I wait for my bus in the freezing cold
Holding the ounce of heat left in my body
Arriving home late in the dark
My day being robbed in front of my eyes
Knowing I’ll be back in the loop tomorrow
The never ending cycle
That keeps me up at night
How what we do in this brick prison at a young age
Will decide our future for ourselves
The pressure
From parents and yourself.



From the moment I met you I knew
You were going to mean something
More than everyone else.
From the moment I looked in your eyes I knew
You were something
Before you were anything.
Now you’re nothing more
Than a memory.



I love O.
I love her red dyed hair that has faded orange
I love her smudged mascara
I love her smelly cats who scratch me
I love how messy she eats her food
I love her obnoxiously loud bass guitar playing
I love her pretentious music taste
I love how disorganised her room is
I love her pointless rambles and thoughts
I love O, she is my best friend,
I love O, she is my soulmate.


Troublesome Transport

I hate getting the bus,
It’s always at least 20 minutes late.

There’s almost never a seat,
And if there is I never sit down
Cause I feel like I’m taking it
From someone who needs it more.

I hate getting the bus,
I always see someone I vaguely know
And don’t know if I should say “hi” to them,
It’s uncomfortable.

I like the bus because it’s quiet, sometimes.

I hate the bus because it smells, all the time.


Stuck in the System

These walls trap me here
And so do society’s expectations
The system ruining my dreams,
Crushing my passion,
My fingernails ruined
From years of anxiety and worry.

I feel worthless in this building,
Like crap under someone’s shoe
All my time, all my life revolves around
This place and these exams
I’m not science smart
Or maths smart.

I don’t feel like I’m any sort of smart.


Love and Loathing

E, I love you
You have the brightest red hair
In all of Kanturk.

I wish that she
Would disappear forever
She fills me with rage.

N, you have my heart
Your cool mullet steals the show
So shiny and bright.


My Rats (affectionately)

My friends are rats
Who don’t like cats
They annoy us and take our hats
These rats hit me with a baseball bat
And they always have naps
I still love my rats.


Musings in Colour

I have a concert in June,
What shall I wear?
A skirt? Pink pants?
A dress or a jumpsuit?
Not black,
Not white,
Colour brings me joy,
Just like boys.