St. Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow.

Art by Tara O’ Brien


From the restless nights to the silent days,
When loud mouths chatter,
And the hope for silence is lost.
Choice fades away, forced to witness it all.
Every movement is like a thunder clap,
Fear fills your lungs as you wait.

Waiting for the relief of safety,
Relief that no one heard.
Stepping into the horizon, running to the light,
Whilst darkness waves goodbye,
Your hit with bliss, and it fills you with joy,
As you are brought into a haven,
A haven of your choice.

The Real Her

Her curves are loving,
Her cellulite is horrifying,
Her smile is endearing,
her stretch marks are terrifying,
Her thigh gap is glorified,
Her rape accusation is fabricated,
Her maternal instincts are adored,

Her intelligence is greedy,
Her femininity is courageous,
Her feminist ideals are hated on,
But who even is she?
Why is she so loved when she is “perfect”,
But disgusting when she is real


The most at rest I had ever seen him
My bright ten year old smile became dim
Not the father I had always known,
Now his face white as snow
Hands crossed upon his chest
Soon we would be laying him to rest.

My ten year old mind couldn’t comprehend
How this could be the very end.
But it wasn’t the end
Now six years later none of my memories are of him at rest
My smile now sixteen years old
But when I use it a pang of pain in my chest

His lifeless face etched onto the back of my eyelids
No, I don’t miss him that much I say but these words are nothing but fibs
Wishing nothing but to lay the bad memories to rest
I don’t want to remember you like this dad
For you’re the only one I’ve ever had.

To Love You

I may not know you but I love you
I may have met you but I don’t see you
You are apart of me
You are my hair my eyes my being my presents
You left me for your good
For your happiness

I don’t hold this against you
But I do wish you were here to see us grow up
To see us love to see us together
You may be watching us
But we wish we could watch you and
See you everyday and night
To love you and know you

To Ruin or not to Ruin

When there is a flower.
That you cannot touch,
You really try to bury your lust.
To ruin a flower,
To make others bloom.
To make one is to break one, you’ll see soon

Do you leave it as it is?
Its petals small and dainty.
To ruin is to break,
To break is to make
But make no mistake
All you want to do is take

So Why Me

Why do they look at me like that?
Like I’m a foreign alien,
who had decided to make a pit stop
On earth while traversing through the galaxy.
Well I am a foreigner.
But there are other foreigners here as well.
So why me??

Maybe it’s the tone of my skin.
No it can’t be there are all sorts of shades
On the palette today.
So why me?
Maybe it’s because I’m a girl.
No it’s can’t be that.
We are surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes.
There is a wide selection for them to get at.
So why me?

Maybe it’s because they think I have a weapon.
Hidden beneath the folds of the fabric
That clings to me like a second skin.
Yes that must be it.
They think of my headscarf as a sign of danger.
As a sign of oppression.

Maybe that’s why they sit far away from me.
Maybe that’s why they treat me like I’m the bubonic plague.
Maybe that’s why the ghost of their whispers haunt me as they follow me.
It isn’t fair.


Without light in our lives,
Makes everything dull and lifeless.
The light,
Which seemed to be reserved,
For those who were “perfect”,

For the Lucky Few.
And those lucky few,
Who seemed to have it all,
Were just misnamed.
They weren’t mean,
They weren’t perfect,
Just misunderstood.

So when they come by,
When they say hello,
Reply back, stay nice.
Don’t be rude,
No more being mean,
Cause now you are grateful.

Grateful there are no rules,
No restrictions,
No “be this” and “be that”.
Cause you don’t have to be,
You aren’t part of those ones,
You are not one of,
The Lucky Few


How can objectification be compared to glorification,
We live in a world where women are victim blamed and men victimised
And yet people are still not looking for equality but compromise
A compromise on our rights and bodies,

The same bodies you take advantage of and leave behind,
The remains of our humanity are left scattered not to be found
Because boys will be boys and girls will always be full of flaws,
And while you scream in violently at victims saying ‘Not All Men’,
It’s all women who are to blame.

Our Stories

They’ve heard our stories
Talk about us behind our backs’
It’s not complicated,
Easy to unpack.
Their sense of entitlement
Engages a sense of rage in me,

A burning flame in me,
Something they will never see.
Because I am a brick wall and
I fear vulnerability.
The fear of their gossip,
Encapsulates and cages me
But the person who built the cage isn’t them,
It’s me.

Best Friend

for my best friend:
It’s great to have friends,
But a best friend is special and hard to find
A person who we lean on in times that are tough
And a person we can laugh with until we can’t talk

Someone who understands our ways
And who loves us for being us,
A thank you seems too mild to say
For all the support you’ve shown to me
For bringing a sense of home
And all the ways you’ve been there for me.

Summer Sun

The ganders have dreams
Big plans they do
To visit some places
And sing songs that too
They’ll say they’ll go here,
Go there, go everywhere.

But the clock is ticking
The summers sun will set,
And when that summers gone
The page cannot be rewritten,

The time never got back,
So they’ll dance and cry
And swim and shout,
Make the most of the summer
And what our world has got

The System

Home, houses, housing,
I don’t know whether I’m coming or going,
We have a date where it all ends,
Where we will have no home left,
We have searched and searched but nothing is working,
My mother stays positive my dad stays on the drink,

And I worry even though apparently I’m too young to,
My sister doesn’t realise the danger,
I try to be positive but it’s hard so I cry alone,
I am fed up and don’t have any more hope,
The housing system might as well not be there

Being Black

being black in a mainly white country
Means facing racism always
Racist people in the class racist teachers
Why do people chose to be racist
I always wonder our fashion our music

They hate us but they love our music
How come they chose to be racist to black people
But love things black people created
There isn’t much left for us to do,
We’re soon going to be lost with no home to turn to.

Women are the most powerful Creatures

We love women”
Then why do we feel scared
That look in our eyes when we see someone pass
Bigger and stronger hoping we’ll get ignored
We feel weak , it’s a normal emotional feeling ,
But is it when we feel it all the time.

We let things happen over that feeling
That over thinking in our heads makes us weak.
Or is that what we think ,
we get stronger and more powerful every time we feel weak.
Maybe we’ll be okay and men even women
Can see that we’re not weak and we are powerful and strong.
Because we are

Outrun The Wind

I wanna run. Outrun the wind. Outrun the rain.
Roll out on the water. Summer aroma.
You can feel the Mediterranean breeze in the air.
Light the sky with your radiance oh bright sun.
I wanna plunge through the long grass, catch me if you can.
I wanna run. Outrun the wind. Outrun the rain.
Roll out on the water. Summer aroma.
Far away doesn’t seem like a 1000miles away

I wish I loved myself

I don’t love my body,
I don’t love looking at it,
I don’t love touching it,
I don’t love anything about it…
But this body has done nothing wrong yet I talk down on it…
I say it doesn’t deserve food,
I say it doesn’t deserve love..

Anytime I look in the mirror,
I feeling smashing it to a million pieces,
Give me all the bad luck,
I don’t think the next seven years can get any worse…
I don’t love my body,
I can’t even use the word like

Not Knowing

In life your only competitor is your mind.
Or is it really?
Maybe it’s our biggest ally that we just have to learn how to control.
Our minds are made to ‘protect’ us from pain
We are pushed into the comfort zone… by ourselves.
And this is the most dangerous place you can be
Because here you are at grave danger at
Not Knowing How Far You Could Go


How do they do it
The other girls
To not wake up each day
Their stomach in curls
Cover the mirror
Cover the scales
My mind becomes empty
My personality and intelligence lost
A piece of me gone with every pound

I’m Just Tired

We are meant to be supportive
And we all say we do
But that is just not true
Having a bad day and walking the hallways
Not smiling because I’m too tired to think
But they don’t know that and they don’t care

I gave her a dirty look and now she hates me
“Don’t worry about it girl” my friends persuade me
But listen I don’t hate you and you shouldn’t hate me
We don’t know each other and maybe we should
Because to be honest I was just tired and gave no ‘look’
I tell myself that they all hate me but when I’m reality I don’t think they do
I think their just tired like I am.

All These Excuses

Isn’t it funny how,
Even now,
In this day and age,
We are still waiting for change.
Men could never understand,
They haven’t suffered it first hand.

Little do they know,
That they deliver the final blow.
They cat call,
Make us feel defenseless and small.
We suffer in silence,
For fear of violence.

What are these but words on a page,
We are told not to engage,
Boys will be boys,
This is no excuse,
It’s just plain abuse.

All these excuses,
They only add to our bruises,
Not All Men,
She was asking for it,
This has to end.

It’s twenty twenty two,
They need to change their view.
Women can do exactly what men can do.
This needs to end now without further ado,
Women are equal.

A Drain

I can feel the pain coursing through my veins.
Every single day the same.
Medicine or distraction can’t aid this pain
This emptiness and aching searching for a voice.
I can feel the mental and physical pain out through me body and brain,
I am drained,
I can’t feel without the desperate ache
That prohibits me from running like a normal being.
I can’t understand how this burden was landed onto me
Expected to walk with pain coursing through my veins

Our Generation

When you think that you can break us,
That you can sweep us under a rug and leave til forgotten,
You are wrong.
This generation is more than just a bunch of kids screaming about issues.
It’s a generation who wants a world which is good to live in.
We want a place where we can breathe,

Where we don’t get killed for things we can’t control,
Where we can speak our minds and hearts
With no fear of harm coming our way.
Our generation stands with one another,
Fights for change like no one ever fought before, side by side.


Time is something we can’t control
Oh but wouldn’t it be great if we could.
To go back to my third birthday where I got a little red car that I would spend hours in.
Or to my first snowstorm where I watched the snowflakes fall on my tongue while on my fathers shoulders
To go back to that argument I had with my mother and tell her I’m sorry, the hurt I felt when I heard her crying in the room beside me
But time passes for a reason
To see us mature, grow, and to learn from our mistakes

Truth Hurts

I feel a bit alone
I have a lot of friends,
But I can never shake the feeling
We’re very different people, you see
A lot has changed for me,
But they’ve stayed the same.
I sound like a bad person saying it,
But unfortunately the truth hurts.

Away In A Spaceship

In a room full of people I feel alone
How I wish I could just dig me a hole
My arms open wide to gaining friendship
How I wish I could fly away in a spaceship
Going on a walk somewhere far
Always the fear if someone’s there
Walk home in the dark
Praying to god I’ll make it back

That’s Life

I hate my life
Life is so stressful
Life is so confusing
Life is so hard
Life is busy
Life goes by too quick
Life goes by too slow
Life is a joke
But i guess that’s just life

Never Enough

It all starts with that feeling you get
that makes you want to fit in,
It’s because of that feeling that
you completely forget who you are
And everything you stand for,
It starts with changing your appearance
When that isn’t enough you change your behavior,

You change the way you act,
think and behave just so that feeling,
the feeling that makes you feel so alone doesn’t win,
You do what you know isn’t right
Not to please yourself but to please others and
Soon you come to the realization
That it will never be enough.


I’m only sixteen and I’m full of worry
Is it safe to walk here Is it too late
AirPods are in but no music is coming out
I’m fearful someone will come up behind
I walk with my friend in fear to walk alone
Don’t walk that way don’t walk this way
Why can I not just walk wherever I want
Because we live in fear because we live in horror
When will we feel safe when will we be able to live the life we want to live

White Paws

I heard his cry,
I looked into his deep green eyes.
His luscious black fur,
And his tractor like purr.
His big white paws,
With his razor sharp claws.
In my busy life and all the hustle,
He really was the missing piece to my puzzle.

Black Friend

You will listen to our music,
share our culture,
Eat our food,
but the second we are in trouble you leave us,
Are we not good enough for ur help ?

Stand with us not against us
We are one together, don’t look at our colour
Look at who we are as people
But when we call u out, your silent
Why ?

Can’t you see we are struggling
We need each other yet we are shut out
We need to come together as a species,
Love each other not hate because of how one look.


Lockdown’s lockdowns finally over
Move over it’s time for me to be a groover
No more masks
But we have tasks to make our country the best it was before
We may have lost some but we gained a new bunch
From March 2020 to January 2022
Finally we are free
At last


I live the most boring life
Go to school everyday, to do the same thing.
Parents are really strict, treat me like a child but want me to grow up.
Nothing interesting ever happens where I live.

Sticks And Stones

They say sticks and stones will break my bones
but words will never hurt me
Then why so I feel like I have been stabbed in my heart
When I’m told I’m not good enough by my peers,
My teachers even my mother…

When I’m told that I’m fat and ugly by my friends…
I shouldn’t worry about it because its just a ‘joke’…
Then why does it hurt so much.
Sticks and stones may not break my bones but words….
Words are the worst weapon you can use against a person…


We are taught and we get opportunities
But we are stressed and anxious about our futures.
They try to help us and make our lives easier,
But we’re still anxious and under pressure.
We study and we do the work,
But we can still fall short of the goals

We spent our childhood working towards
Not everyone gets to be educated,
Not everyone can go to college,
But they still try to learn.
For we are encouraged to do our best,
But sometimes it doesn’t feel that way


How can someone who has everything feel nothing,
Whose always surrounded by friends but feels isolated,
Whose never alone but always feel lonely.
How can someone be loved by everyone but not liked by anyone

I Am Perfect :

On a scale from one to ten I am perfect like I am,
I don’t need your opinion, I do what I want and what I love.
I don’t tell you how to live your life so you don’t tell me how to live mine.
People always say there fine.
I always do what i want all the time


Don’t read out
Bats in cages
Bats with disease
The beginning of the unknown
Which no one expected
The world around us stops
And for how long we don’t know
Masks, distance, heartbreak and death
Loneliness, fear anger and distress
When will it end ? When will the cycle break?
Schools with no lockers , closing of canteens
What would our lives be without Covid 19?