St. Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow, Co. Cork

Inside These Walls

Inside these walls
Us girls retreat.
Dressed in uniforms,
Our individually sinks.
Our differences
Once praised,
Now make us weak.

Inside these walls
We lay our feet,
Chained to our chairs,
Informed of what is right
Opinion is shattered,
It’s getting hard to see the light.

Inside these walls,
We sink our teeth
We tear each other down
With words from the street.

Inside these walls,
We appear as one
United at the front.
But allow closer inspection,
You will notice the cracks.
The groups have formed in time to show,
Where each belongs
This knowledge-
Too well known.

Roisin Murphy


Brown eyes scan the body before them.
Brown eyes so dark, they reach the point of blackness.
Brown eyes that see a delicate figure and a face that’s priceless.
She is beautiful, but she doesn’t see it.

Her parents told her she is one of a kind,
A person that anyone will rarely find.
Her parents told her she’s got the smarts she needs for anything.
Her parents told her she’s beautiful, but she didn’t see it.

The girls call her a waste of space
The girls call her a mistake
The girls call her ignorant and stupid
The girls call her a disgrace

Swollen brown eyes scan the body before them.
Eyes so swollen they reach the point of redness
Swollen brown eyes that see a delicate feature and face that’s priceless.
She was always beautiful…

But she will never see it.

Teo Mardari

To Live

We are told to live our lives to the fullest,
To make the most of every day,
To live in the moment,
To live.

But how can we really live
When we are spending half of our lives
In school, trying to plan futures
We may not even have.

I want to experience life to the fullest,
I want to travel,
To laugh,
To love,
To be.

But I am told
That school is more important than happiness,
That life isn’t fair,
And that everyone has it hard.

So I will stay for another day,
Sitting at my desk,
Staring at the sky,
Hoping that soon,
I will experience and know for myself
What life is really like.


The Lions and Birds

I come from a generation of “wasters,” told to be the best but shown that they are little.
Dragged through a uniform line of wrists dying for a break
From churning out lines, they don’t believe in or even understand.
A line of crushed individuality with a hypocritical rule to “be happy, be yourself.”
I come from a segregated classroom, a dance floor, a job,
Where the lions are perched high above the birds.
Nobody asks if they’re comfortable, only if they’ve succeeded.
The birds are caged to the sky, but still told that it is a privilege.
Their interpretation of what’s right and wrong is always wrong,
For their mind must only focus on the worm, not the seed.
I come from a decade lacking modern ideas.
Simba simply said no.
Pulled backwards through the dirt, through the lies and the hurt.
Systematic oppression leads to ‘fake news’ depression.
Seasonal celebration of commercialised confessions.
A world shrouded in the thoughts of a dead man’s prayers.

Beth O’Sullivan


Is it not absurd that people of the land
Know not of why their crops are failing
Of why the ground is hotter
Of why the drought lasts longer
Of why the storms come often
Do we not think it just to tell them it was us?
Or do we let them die;
Never knowing why.

Emer O’Grady

I Come From

I come from a time,
Where the best isn’t good enough.
You always need to be more.
Prettier, Smarter, Funnier.
There’s only so much you can do,
To try and fit in to try and be “right”.
Eventually we give up and realise that in fact,
We are good enough.

Fiona Marian

People don’t Get

People don’t get the struggles we face,
When we share our problems,
We’re made to feel a disgrace,
Women and men don’t respect each other,
It feels like the only person we can turn to is our mother,
And even then when a long day comes to an end,
We all face issues even she can’t mend,
Everyone dreams of living happily ever after,
Days filled with endless laughter,
So all I ask is that you just be nice,
Don’t you think it gets tiring, the constant fights,
We should all leave each other be and put all this in history.

Helena Walsh


You make me laugh, you like to sing,
You are my everything.
You make me feel better when I am sad,
Even if sometimes I make you mad.

You don’t understand how much you mean to us,
You make life better when things get tough.

You tell me I’m pretty, you help me feel good,
When I feel sad you give me nice food.
You never judge, you always hug,
You know what to say, You know what I love.

After every night out,
I tell you the goss
All the drama,
You get some hop.

You go through so much during your day,
You are amazing in every way,
Thinking of others before yourself,
If you were a trophy you would be on my shelf.

I’m with you for most of my every day,
And I wouldn’t have it any other way,
Watching the soaps and listening to songs,
I hope you know I love you, Mom.



I used to think I’d find love like the ones in fairytales
You can try and try but no matter what it always fails
We’ve all heard about how love is supposed to be easy
Full of joy, flowers and everything cheesy
But why does it always hurt
All guys want to do is flirt
They never want anything real
No wonder girls feel the need to conceal
Their beautiful faces in layers of makeup
They feel as though they’re never enough
And this will always stay the same
Unless we finally remove the shame


I Think

I think sometimes they wish I were
Something they bought in the shop
So that when they go home
And realize I’m faulty
They could return me
To that shop



People don’t get the struggle we face,
When we share our problems,
We’re made a disgrace.
How can we express,
When at the end of the day we are put to rest.
Everyone dreams of there lives a happily ever after,
And days filled with endless laughter.
So all I ask is if you want your dream,
Is to let the out your screams
And follow your dream.

Lucy Sheehan

Crooked World

There was a crooked man,
He lived on this crooked earth
Slept in a crooked box
Upon the crooked dirt

And all the crooked people
Would often stop and stare
And avert their crooked eyes
Look at him they would not dare

So off they walk, their crooked walk
To crooked homes and beds
Not a thought of the crooked man
Passes through their crooked heads

And in their crooked minds
Still they could not see
That the crooked man outside their door
Could be them or you or me

Alison Hayes

Forgotten Childhoods

Forgotten childhoods, where fairies were chased
Down through the fields where days would not waste
My family, my friends, the three musketeers
The memories that stayed there for years upon years
No troubles, no worries, just clouds in our heads
And dreams that would come true when curled up in our beds

Amy Lynch

Sometimes I Wonder

What it would be like to not be a teenager
To go back to being a kid
Back to the happy, full of laughter
Didn’t have a care in the world child
Whom my parents adored
All I had to worry about was if I fell and grazed my knee
Or if I lost at a game of snap
Oh how everything has changed

Now I have the stress of being a teenager
Especially in this society
Have to work to be who I am
To become like the rest
Especially in school
Here, I’m trapped from being my own self
And I want to be a kid again

It’s more about my future than the present
All my parents want is for me to study
And study
They don’t think of how it affects me
Too much pressure
I’m just a teenager, I have a whole life to live
Just like a child has
But what’s the difference in my parents eyes?

Emma Cowley

You Don’t Know What Happens Behind Closed Doors

I go to school and meet my friends
Already I don’t want this school day to end
Cracking jokes and raving over the latest “dude”
Not even double physics coils ruin this mood
But overwhelmingly fast the school days done
Time does fly when you’re having fun.

I walk in the gate
Wondering about the new thing my family will hate
You see disease, death and tragedy have plagued my family for too many years.
I’m sick of hearing bad news fall on my ears.

So the next time you see me on some Snapchat story,
Passed out on some floor,
You don’t know what happens behind closed doors.

Sarah Barrett


Shifted, ghosted, slut-shamed, used,
Victim party was the muse,

You fire out words like bullets from a gun,
Too ashamed to speak up my only option, to run,
You said we were friends and that I believed,
But you seem to hate what others say I achieved.



Being a teenager
Makes you realize
What you are

Makes you realize
How the world creates
And destroys you

The words, advice
Mound you
Chain your thoughts
You’re a circus monkey
To the crowd

But it’s by only your thoughts

Aoife O’Sullivan

We Live

We live in a world that being ‘unique ‘ or ‘different’ is socially unacceptable.
We live in a world that we are mocked and muted for our individuality.
We live in a world that someone made for us to get along and bring joy to people
But instead the loads of people who are only there to bring you down.
We live in a world where we are told ‘your fine’ and ‘it’s a phase’ and ‘you’ll get over it’.

But what about now… The present. Pressured into being clones of each other,
But I believe there more to us that we think the same,
We all have a heart and we all want to be loved.

Eimear Keane

Best Friend

You leave me out,
You bitch about me,
I’m your “best friend” yet I’m still annoying?
You and yer wan didn’t know each other long,
But she’s better than me
You use me,
You hate me,
You doubt me,
You bait me.
Yet I still call you my best friend…



She was a barbed wire playground
And I couldn’t stay away.

Hung from monkey bars like executee
Yet when she looks in the mirror,
All she sees is me.

Sorcha Lane

What I Need

When I need what I need,
There’s a chaos running through my mind.
When I need what I need,
There’s a shiver running down my spine.
When I need what I need,
Can’t stop the sweaty palms.
When I need what I need,
Can’t get it off my mind.
When I need what I need,
Lose my temper until I get what I need.

Marlena and Ramona

All-Girls School

I feel the girls’ stares
Like bullets in my back.
Their insatiable thirst for popularity
Drowns me.
I have no island.
There is no escape.

Alannah Mc


I don’t really know what to say
This goes around and around every day
Stuck in a life where I don’t wanna be
Cause I can’t be me
People are judgey
They only want you in a certain way
They create you in their image
Which you can’t change
It’s the life we r all living that will take a long time to change


Love Triangle

You lied to me.
Right to my face.
Friends are supposed to tell each other everything.
I feel so betrayed.
Make up your mind.
I want the best for you.
Face the music.
You’re stuck in a love triangle.

Aine Niamh and Ella


Rain is lashing, tan dripping
Lashes are ripping
The Bouncer won’t let me in.

It is him I am thick at
I’ve lost my ticket
The Bouncer won’t let me in.

Sorcha Lane

My Name is not my Identity

We go through life with fake id’s
We are known by our handles
Outfits and names are our experiences
Houses and cars are our intelligence
Words are our worth
Triumphs are our bios
Friends cause enemies
Hate causes love
People are our downfall
But who cares about me at all

Roisin O Hanlon

The Feeling of Homelessness

I’m invisible see?
One of the invisible people.
Right now I’m sitting in a room
Full of people but I still feel alone.
They don’t like being reminded that I exist.

Kate O Connell


Here I sit
A small lonely planet.
Lost in a universe
Of gas giants
Shooting stars pass me by
Barely a glance or flicker of a smile.
Far off in a distant galaxy there must be someone just like me,
A dwarf planet, not even recognised as a planet
Forgotten, unloved, cast aside.
Galaxies upon galaxies
Through the infinite universe
I bet you don’t even know my name.
Or how I feel when you shoot past me.

Caitlín Murray

I Am

I am the loud mouth at the back of the class
I am the county player with the 40-yard pass
I am the girl with her life planned out
I am the comedian with the quick-witted mouth
I am the lover to be with her boyfriend “forever”
I am the person with her life together
To have my life wouldn’t be so bad
If you’re ok with growing up not really seeing you let dad
If you’re ok with pushing people away and starting fights
Because you’re too shy to say when you’re not alright
If you’re ok with having an attitude like a boy
And being too proud to let you’re friends ever see you cry
I am grateful for my life I cannot complain
But there’s some things I wish I could explain
That people only see what we let them see
And there’s a whole completely other side to me

Eva Lankford

Before the Naughty Nights Out

Staying up late the night before
I can’t sleep but it’s not cuz of dads snore
I can smell the coconut off my bronzed legs
Smooth and clean and tanned but begs
The question, “why am I still single mate”
I’m nice enough hilarious and loads of fun,
I won’t overreact or ever cheat on YOU hun!
The only thing I’m not great at is humbleness
Because I’m the best at it
Send in your CVs
I think you’re the bees knees
I’m looking for a boyfriend
My singleness will end
Tomorrow night at the Hiland!

Alex Payne


Sometimes I sit here and wonder,
How the heck did I make County,
Training in hailstone, rain and thunder,
U16 football for Kerry,

By god the standard is high,
But playing time flies by,
Passion for colour,
Make everything flutter

Determination to win the 2019 All Ireland
Unfortunately out injured for 8 weeks
Passion for the green and gold,
Is everything I wonder?

Shauna Clifford


I don’t really like poetry
I don’t know what to write
I come from a normal family
I live a normal life
My brother does my head in
And my mam and Dad do too
I’m going to finish my poem now
Goodbye and good luck to you

Beth McDonagh

What to Say

I do not know what to say,
But I wasn’t having that bad of a day,
My friend sent the boy I like an fugly picture of me,
Now my day is kind of crapy.

Elma O’Hanlon


Poetry isn’t for me.
But I’m trying my best
So let me be.



I’m the Bruce Willis of Poetry
Not great at it but I can do other things

Alex Payne