St Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina, Mayo

Precious Lives

Seeking hope for the future
Doesn’t look bright
Children going to sleep, praying tomorrow would be better
Every night.
The damp floor
The soggy covers
The paper cup with 20 cents showed how much the public cared
Cars passing by one by one
It’s 3am
The only sound is the drops of water falling softly from the blocked gutters
No one around
No one to help
“Is this ever going to get better?” Asked the young child
“Just pray,just pray” answered the struggling mother.

How Queer

Love is beautiful
It comes in many forms, familial, platonic, romantic
Gentle kisses shared between man and woman
The care a mother gives to her child
The warmth of friendship
Love is all around us
But if love is so beautiful, isn’t it queer?
That because my love is different, it’s viewed as lesser than yours?
I was born this way,
A woman who loves women.
Am I so repulsive for my feelings?
Is this concept so foreign to you?
That you scorn me and shame me.
You simply won’t admit that you’re afraid
Afraid of what you don’t understand, of new, different things
But aren’t we all different in our own way?
In many ways, my love is also the same as yours
So it’s queer, isn’t my love beautiful too?

The story
I scream and shout
Sing and dance.
I’m quiet on the outside
But wild on the inside.
I am good at putting on a smile
Although my broken instead.
I try to be positive
When I know I can’t
People are always friendly
But tend to forget about me.
They act as my friends
But don’t listen when I’m hurt.
This is my story and I’m happy you listened.

San Fran

In san francisco, he drunk dials,
he gets the drinks in
so he can get thinking of her.
he’s changing,
he keeps pacing,
he doesn’t want her to say
that it’s too late now,
the sun is rising but the moon is still shining,
all in san francisco

Take Your Marks

The sharp blinding lights hurt my head but I don’t notice.
Nervous but I can’t think about that right now.
“Just breathe, you’ll be fine” they say
but in my head there’s a war.
One side telling me I can’t do this,
that I’m not good enough.
The other telling me I have to.

As I sit on the poolside,
watching the heats ahead of me race.
5 heats left.. 4 left.. 3 left.. 2 left..
I’m next.
I try not to panic and just focus on stretching.

The first whistle blows, I mount the block.
“TAKE YOUR MARKS”.. I get into position.
The buzzer sounds.
My body hits the water,
The nerves are instantly replaced with adrenaline.
I forget everything and just swim.


“Oh look, it’s a girl,
And she’s wearing a dress.”
“It is what you should expect”.
This would have been said some time ago.
But times have changed,
And society norms have been rearranged.

A woman no longer stuck in her home,
Working herself to skin and bone.
From medicine, education, science and sport,
To a woman debating her client’s case in court.
None of these events are considered unordinary,
Well, perhaps, to someone from 1940.

However, some still have stuck in their sights,
Those ancient old stereotypes.
It used to be said; a woman a nurse, a man a doctor
But she had the power, and no one can stop her.

Frustration, ignorance, embarrassment and shame,
Along with these types, the emotions came.
Once considered a society rule,
Now known as offensive and cruel.

Times have changed,
And society norms continue to be rearranged.
Stereotypes, a thing of the past,
Yet they remain to last.

These Are Your Best Years

Thirteen to eighteen live them well,
They are the best years of your life,
But what ever you do don’t sit and dwell.

Teenage years are the ones everyone will remember,
However we reminisce, still in 2020, only hoping for December.

Our lives overruled with a global pandemic,
How could we ever forget it.
Our time spent in lockdown with no place to go,
Our mental health and self esteem came to an all time low.

Many returned to a childhood place of happiness,
Listening to the band we all gravely missed,
1D helped us through it, as listened to music like this,
“I hope to god I don’t waste all my good years”
Said ZAYN as sang about their peers.

These are you best years,
So like them as you please.

A Distinctive Ping

Please please please don’t say my name
As I hear the distinctive ping
My heart brings to sing

A face full of freckles
In my heart it settles
Gone in ten seconds
The joy fails to lessen

A quick reply
Has my heart on an all time high
I think of how I feel inside
But the thought leaves my tongue all tied

As I hear the distinctive ping
My heart sings
A crush over the phone
Makes me feel less alone.


I live through past memories and future fantasies.
Some people tell me that’s good,
that it boosts creativity.
Others tell me to let go,
that I should keep up with the world.
I would,
but living in the present doesn’t feel like enough.
I want to feel secure here,
but that is simply unattainable.
Could I capture a sense of belonging?
Only in another world.
I’m tired of feeling lost
and I can’t stand being vulnerable,
so I mirror other people
in hopes they won’t notice.
But then again,
faking happiness is more disappointing than



Poetry is my therapy.
It’s more efficient then the months i spent,
In a strangers office where i’m meant to vent.
Therapy was my unexpected hell, leaving the room and feeling more unwell.
Months feeling like my minds a dangerous jail cell.
But poetry let me fully express myself.
Poetry let my grass grow greener,
Stopped the mean voices from growing meaner.
My mind is made different with poems flying through, more effective then what any therapy could do.

Silent Fuel

Weeks in quietness and isolation,
Fuelled by fear and anticipation.
Unbeknownst to what would come next,
A war of sickness, sadness and death.

A new normal has now pursued,
With masks and visors worn in lieu
Of accessories we once knew.

Caution is now takes with every action
In fear that there will be another wave in reaction,
To people’s carelessness and inconsideration.
This virus is lethal and a threat to our nation.

Football boots

A short few busy weeks
of training and hard work ago
when you arrived at my doorstep.
A plain white canvas
splashed with a midnight sky
finished with the pigment of first place.
An upper covered in spikes
as sharp as blades.
Football boots.


The oldest and youngest-two little gems,
The middle one,
The peacekeeper between both of them.
The oldest is golden, perfect in every way.
He possesses the looks and the talents believe me I hear it everyday.
The youngest gets all the attention, simply by slamming a door in your face
She gets all the attention, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
The oldest-spectacular, leaving parents elated.
The youngest thriving on attention on a day to day basis.
The middle, left alone, feeling isolated.
I’m sick of it being about the other two, because realise it or not,
I am here too!

Advice for Young Women

Do believe in yourself,
Don’t judge yourself based on what others believe you should be,
Do forget about nasty and degrading comments made about you as hard as it may be,
Don’t underestimate what you are cable of,
Do love yourself and who you are,
Don’t compare yourself to the fake image you see on the magazines and internet,
Do be the best version of yourself you can be.

Listen Here

Little girls listen here
Growing up should not be a fear
Don’t listen to what they say
aspire to be you everyday
Go out and travel theres lots to be seen
Speak your mind as long as it’s not mean
Just know there’s nothing you can’t do
Put your mind to it and you’ll make it through


They tell us mental health’s important
But work us to the bone
They tell us mental health’s important
But we’ve been created by our phones

Taking walks and talking to teachers
Won’t fix my shitty features
That I’ve been told arnt good enough , not hot enough by mysoginistic leaders

They want us broken down
They want us to buy their razors , their bleach their makeup and clothes to be ” teasers ”
But god forbid they acctually please her .

For girls are objects for boys to object
To tear us and tell us our flaws
But don’t we dare tell them ” don’t be sexist ”
They’d only stand there with open jaws

Cause girls don’t speak up
Girls stay quiet
They take it like ” bitches ” they are .

They tell us mental health’s important
But tear us females down like walls
They don’t teach boys not be assholes
They teach women how not to be victims


Why did it have to be me?
It looks over my head , hungry for what my reactions are to the things it said,spitting it’s words and dangerous thoughts,
Hoping to try claim my life once more,
Waiting to pounce and damage me in anyway,
Hoping to block my life path way.

What You Do

I hate the way bother me
I hate the way you make me feel
You have me confused all the time
I could go and make a full on speel

You test my patience almost everyday
You have my head wrecked most of the time
Some of the stuff you come out with
It really should be a crime

But sometimes I actually like you
You make me laugh like no other
I don’t know what I’d do without you
Since i basically am your mother

Your foolish ways make me giggle
Our 6am chats are a far too late
But I wouldn’t change it for the world
I hate you like a sister, because you are my Kate

Poppy Love

How could they forget
They wear their poppies with such pride they don’t care about all the Irish people that died,
They are proud of their soldiers that tortured and killed our men our women our children.
They were innocent we were free they took our freedom they don’t remember that side of history. They are not thought the bad side only the good.
We will never forget but we will forgive as it is the past and it’s not how we live.
But I feel angry that they aren’t aware the fear the pain and the hurt they caused.

Good enough

We are told to be different
We are told to be ourselves
We are told to be confident
But not too cocky
We are told put on makeup
We are told take it off “your prettier without it”
We are told to cover up
We are told show more skin
We are told don’t be a slut
But don’t be a prude “guys don’t like that”
We are told to love ourselves
But the media tells us to hate every bit of us
You can never win in this generation
Always told to change anything that makes you you.


Make America great again,
a phrase we heard too much.
The man behind it, an evil man,
the world set out to hate.
His tan, his face, his horrible traits,
that no one could control.
Until election we get him out
and the world will smile with joy.
A happier place with so much hope,
Joe Biden we love your soul.

All new

Being new is not easy
You have to start again all you ended
Everything is different, the people,the language, the food
You have to take a step forward and face your fears

Interact with people
Go party
Dont be a afraid
To be yourself

You miss your loved ones
But its fine you will see them again
Don’t waste your time thinking about the past
Just live the present


Sitting a metre apart at sanitised tables
Wearing our masks
Running through our daily timetable
Completing monotonous tasks
On this gloomy Wednesday afternoon
But our spirits are lifted
By the promise of Christmas coming soon
44 days until we are gifted
With countless presents and two weeks off school
Decorating trees
And buying food that makes us drool


The love, the care, the passion
she had; up early,
Ready to go,
She sat in her seat, her seat only.
She was always early; every week,
Nine o’clock sharp, half an hour till the start.

Her friends, her family, her neighbours
All surrounded her,
It was there she learned,
It was there she met people
It was there she married
It was there, in the church.


Like the icy chill of the Atlantic
Sends shivers down your spine,
The sound – calm or frantic,
The lyrics like a shrine.
The swelling of the vocals
Mesmerising and powerful
Music , oh so global
Makes my imagination colourful.

Changed World

Ya it’s 2020 we’re a changed world
Tell that to the suffering boys and girls,
Silently slipping down a hole of mental health,
But don’t worry that’s irrelevant because it’s already been dealt.
And the “we’re all born free and equal” shite,
When equality and acceptance in others is a different as day and night,
And just because I don’t look the way the media portray,
Doesn’t mean it should cost me my right to stay another day.
We’re in a year of change and making things right,
So maybe look at the people outside of the spotlight,
And you never know changing someone life you might,
So to conclude we don’t need a changed world but a changed mind.


Walking with my head down,
trying not to draw attention.
Hearing giggles as I walk by,
Causing a scene wasn’t my intention

Flashbacks to the past three years,
Rushing back as a if it was a river.
Student games taken too far,
Memories are enough to make me quiver.

Fear takes hold again as I walk down the hall,
I wasn’t in the same building where it happened,
Yet I still had that feeling of being laughed at,
Even if those people aren’t there

The suburbs of busy Ballina
a house in the suburbs
in mad memories
fabulous food
Ice Cream on Sundays
from Jalan Jalan
Throwback Breaffy
St.Mays Secondary School
Transition year
Pop and Rap
I am from Snapchat
stand up paddle boarding
a laneway of houses
and we’ve got each other’s back.

Panic attack

Fear bolts through my veins,
Quiet but terrifying and endless.
Anxiety is constant but the panic creeps up on me like darkness in November
A dark dense smoke occupies my body,
I am stuck
What stated out as a pang of worry has paralysed me.

A Paper Cup

Seeking hope for the future
Doesn’t look bright
Children going to sleep,praying tomorrow would be better
Every night.
The damp floor
The soggy covers
The paper cup with 20 cents,showed how much the people cared
Cars passing one by one
It’s 3am.
The only sound is the drops of water softly falling from the blocked gutter
No one around.
No one to help.
“Is this ever going to get better?” Asked the young child
“Just pray, just pray, answered the struggling mother.

I’m Okay

Growing up I always thought I was okay
I thought God was there to make things right
I thought i was happy when i pray
I’m Dancing Prancing then Boom! Strike!

When I realise that there was more to life
I start to see how horrible it is
I start to stop and start to sigh
I’m actually not happy, I don’t feel fix.

Stop my sport and my robotic mind
Pressure of being better when I’m not
Black and grays, colours I only find
Do u feel better now? Yes ALOT!

Lies Lies Lies why do you lie
Lie about ur feelings lie about your life
Oh dear God just shut up
Others have it worse. You big messed up.

Guess I’m fine
I guess I’m alright
I just feel like I should cry
My mind slowly dies

I’m okay

Behind someone’s smile

When I look into someone’s eyes
I wonder, how was their life like?
Are they hiding sadness, depression, or anxiety behind their smile?
Do they really mean it when they say I’m fine?
Are they hiding an ugly past that doesn’t let them sleep at night?
Are they really as happy as they make people think they are?

I believe we would all be surprised
If we knew the demons that hunt in each other’s minds
We would all feel less lonely, less sad,
We would feel less guilty, more human.

Am I the only one that wonders that?
That would like to share her thoughts with someone who has also been sad?


The place is twisting
so are our heads
the beach looks and smelly like weed
but it’s a euphoric escape
people sitting in dunes
and standing over the hedge
the pile of cans and bottles
but nothings being said
your there with whoever
and life flicks to being great
until you realise you can’t stay in these arms forever
you though your last bottle over
and look up at the sky
and realise this could be the guy


Why do you cry so much?
They said
Into my pillow every night
I used to drown in my own fright

Why are you always so emotional ?
He said
So now I won’t let them know
I’ll hide my feelings with a show

Over time I became numb
To what they told me I am
So I became
What they never thought I could be


A place where you have no space,
Sitting in class waiting
for time to pass,
Turning the page,
in this cage
Watching the time pass,
until I get to go home at last


Love will punch you in the face,
It will make your heart race.
Love will steal your mind and run away with the fairies.
It will destroy your life and it won’t say sorry.
Love will tie you to a chair and rip your heart out, but you see past that.
Love will eventually disappear into thin air,
so please,
say something if you love me.

The Earth Shook

COVID has shook the earth,
Turned it round and upside down,
It’s something that I never imagined,
And let’s be honest it makes our heads pound.
I’m actually thankful for this last year,
It has brought be closer to my family and peers.
It made me focus and better myself,
And for this my future self will be proud.


Yes there is silence.
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is panic.
Yes there is shock.
Yes there is grieving.
The skies are clearing.
The Earth is healing.
Communities are coming together
To help one another.
Neighbours are looking out for each other.

A Prized Possession

As I was about to embark on my teenage years
I received you a present
From my conformation day onward
You were a comfort whenever I faced a rainy day.
Your sterling silver links
Remind me fondly of my godfather who gifted me with your company
Quite ordinary to the average person’s eye
To me, you most certainly are
my most prized possession.

Lockdown Poem

Yes there is no Gaelic
Yes there is no travelling
Yes there is no school
Yes there is no discos
Yes there is no visitors
There has been late nights
And many sleep ins.
Time to spend with your family
But sadly not friends.
Time to got the farm
And try play golf for fun.
There was time to find myself
And be myself.
It’s not in the past
But as been a blast.


COVID is bad😤

It makes me mad😡
That we can’t go out 🥺
And that issad 😢
It would make me glad 😃
And less sad 😭
If COVID went away🚀
At the end of today🌅


Yes there was no school
Yes there was no meeting friends
Yes we had to stay at home for months
Yes we didn’t know what was happening
Yes there was sickness
Yes there was even death
We spent more time with our family
We explored around our homes finding places we didn’t know existed
We came to know our county and all its beauty
Yes we stayed at home,
But maybe we needed it
Maybe it was our planet telling us it needed a break
Maybe we needed a break.

New Normal

Covid 19 took over the world,
new cases are always being confirmed.
Frontline workers are finally being applaud
and no one is allowed to travel abroad.
Working at home is the new normal
and visiting family and friends is all virtual.
Everyone’s smiles now covered in masks and visors
and all the shops are surrounded with supervisors.
Please just stay at home
and work from Google Chrome.


none of us are equal.
when a “group” profit of a system they created that condemns others.
we beg for rights, we beg to be heard.
but we might as well be screaming in space.
they wont fold.

Friendly Advice To First Years

Don’t be scared,
Don’t be frightened,
Don’t be filtered,
Don’t be intimidated,
Don’t be always impressing others,
Don’t be out of character,
Don’t be fake,
Don’t be mean,
Just be yourself!


This school is very bad,
This school is very sad,
All we do is work
All we do is learn unnescacrys stuff,
And sit down,
I wnat to learn abit advebtures but all we learn is poems,
I wnat to go on treasure hunts but we do maths papers,
I wnat to do sport they wnat to do projects
I need to feed my brain outside but they want me to sit in the smae 4 walls every day
I wnat so have fun but they want to bore us :/