Poetry Ireland Éigse Éireann and Schools Across Borders
Creative Writing Project 2010
MERIT and COMMENDED AWARD PIECES
Turns You to Frost by Aoife Bagnall
Torn by a war that you don’t understand.
So many problems — one piece of land.
Pushing on, though your heart starts to ache.
Holding back tears for your family’s sake.
Praying that each day won’t be your last.
Wishing so hard for your life in the past.
Still exhausted from times when you ran.
Holding to loved ones for as long as you can.
Thinking of all of the friends you have lost
Turns you to ice — impenetrable frost.
Looking for good memories, all you can find.
Singing old lullabies so you won’t lose your mind.
River of Tears by Hanadi Al Shamri
Down by the river of tears
the mother knelt
holding the sand between her hands
When she planted a flag of peace
her heart wrenched with happiness
at her nice memories
She, the mother
her last child
tombs filled with innocence...
the open doors of family houses.
She looked up to the sky
her hand pointed to God
and prayed that everything will be ok.
A deep voice comes from her heart and said:
Stop killing our children,
entering our doorways,
scaring our children on their way from school
what we want is freedom and peace ...
A Right To Be by Jenny McDonnell
Waking up to the sky again,
I close my eyes and just pretend,
The world is safe, and bright, and new,
And I am here, safe, with a friend.
Now I stretch my hand to the stars,
Blinking as they shine down on me.
You pull my hand and say "hide now!"
That people like us are not free.
But I see no difference between us.
Black and white, tall and small,
Everyone living has a right to be.
Why then in this world will some fall?
I look out at the world and cry,
Someone who's loved will die tonight.
In Israel and Palestine, why
Are their death rates so much higher?
Suicide, stabbing, thousands fall,
I wish this could end for mankind.
Live in peace, no "fences" or "walls"
Why not two states in harmony?
Such destruction, and why us?
We are the same though some don't see,
I wish to shout "stop the fighting!"
Let us go, let us all be free.
I wish to hold hands
And let everyone see,
That all are like,
And have a right to be.
Jenny McDonnell and Deputy Principal of St Kilian's German School, Dublin,
Alice Lynch with Seamus Cashman
Friends by Joshua Martin
He is a friend who always knows
when the cold wind of trouble blows
who comes in dark and stormy night
with friendship’s glowing lamp alight.
Like refreshing rain in summer
or the gentle breeze in spring,
just a little gift of kindness,
joy to someone’s heart can bring.
The little choices we must make
will chart the course of life we take;
we can choose the path of light
or wander off in darkest night.
Suffering in the dark by Manar Maher Salaymeh
Invaders, black hearts — they kill without conscience.
Invaders, black hearts — they massacre without mercy.
They took the land, They took the home.
They took the smiles, the happiness. They took our Freedom
And nothing remains — just a tear in a child’s eye, just sadness in a woman’s heart.
Women and children screaming and asking for help but no answer.
Women and children crying blood night after night
They destroy our schools and our land and our homes.
They kill and torture our men and our loved ones and our boys.
They turn off the light of the room but
they can't turn off the light in our hearts and our spirits.
We will light up the darkness.
We will stand through the pain, through the tears.
We will not kneel. We will not stop fighting, defending ourselves.
We will make our history: our present and our future is in our hands.
We will make our destiny: our fate and our hope is in our hearts
Tonight we will not be forgotten. Tonight we will not stop.
Tonight we will get back our Freedom
Invaders — beware, beware; invaders beware.
The massacre of Gaza by Maysam Al Said
In Gaza there's a mother screaming.
There's a mother screaming "Please, God, help us, give us the freedom."
There's a child hungry; another has lost his parents
Each one asked his mom to end his suffering.
In Gaza, there is a dark night, black days; no fairness, no justice.
Gaza — Gaza, our land. How can you endure?
How did you wait?
How did you wait?
In a huge sea of blood
Gaza please wait for us, be patient, we will come;
We are your hope ...
They are deaf...... they are blind.
If you are thirsty, drink from the water of the sea.
Be firm.... be firm despite all of the crimes —
The massacre's of Gaza , the Gaza war..... as they call it.
Their leaders promised their people to get rid of Gaza and they really did
Gaza, city of blood, please be firm, be patient despite the massacre
— wherever you walk you see corpses every where.
According to the World
they have the right to do whatever they want in Gaza.
Dear bad World.
Dear mad World.
You don't understand?
You don't hear?
Deaf world.... blind world... dumb world
You don't recognise? You don't feel?
Gaza is burning. Gaza is burning.
Look at us — look again! We are strong despite all.
And we will be stronger!
We are the Palestinians — a strong people
How Can I Sleep by Mohammed Alawawda
How can I sleep while I am seeing pain?
The pain of people who are like a flood
The pain of people who refuse humiliation
the pain of people who are always disobedient
How? Tell me how.
Prisoners and martyrs.
Families homeless – homes destroyed.
Martyrs not allowed consolations.
How can I sleep?
How? Tell me how.
I am calling you men on chairs
letting down your brothers
and trying to love your enemies.
All your hope is to fill your stomachs.
But I don’t sleep.
I don’t sleep while my body is wounded
I am a human who can feel pain
I am really feeling pain.
How? How? How can I sleep?
School with a difference by Oghenodoro Obiomah
I am a sailor student,
travelling around the world,
seeking to find the best school,
to acquire knowledge and fear of God.
First of all, I went to a school
where I saw teachers with white skin
but black in heart,
tutors pretending to know all but who knew little,
students pretending to be good but were resisters.
So, I went to another school.
There I saw a principal with a pot stomach,
I saw student who were so uncool,
staff that were cruel,
and school heads who didn't care.
But then a friend introduced me
to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
at Caritas college.
There I recognised God.
I found teachers with white skin
who were also white in heart;
I saw tutors willing to teach and impact ...
I saw staff being good shepherds, and
students wanting to achieve the best
in academic work and at extra curricular activities:
Caritas college is a school with a difference;
and the difference is clear
Oghenedoro Obiomah of Caritas College, Dublin with Darran Irvine of Schools Across Borders
Most Loyal Friend by Olateju Idowu
You may not know this but you mean the world to me.
When I'm with you I feel a sudden burst of glee.
When you come along you bring serenity.
Your loyalty is firm and constant,
Always so gracious and flamboyant,
When I am hungry you supply what I want.
Tough at times you have so little,
You share your food cut down the middle,
Always making sure I'm fit as a fiddle.
Friendship often stands the test of time,
But we give it our all and know that there's no crime.
Between us, we get rid of all the grime.
I know that I can always depend on you,
Always thrust you to stick to me like glue,
Always so willing, faithful and true.
A lot of times we try and have a bit of fun,
Trying so hard not to be shot with a gun,
But I always trust you to tell me what's going on.
And I pray to Allah, to God Almighty,
That he fill your life with glee,
And help you find serenity.
But for now you silly clown,
there is not between us a single frown.
I wear our friendship as a crown,
Under the Carpet by Oran O’Rourke
Dear God, How are things up there?
True and just and free and fair?
A paradise of emptiness where
There are no smart men with dead grey hair?
I met one such man today
He told me You took ‘the baba’ away.
He handed me a flower but didn’t stay.
‘I’m sorry’ is all he stopped to say.
Maybe You could make time stand still?
So I wouldn’t have to pop pill
To stop the cold and piercing chill
Of this road; this steep and slippery hill.
But I know you’ll never stop the time
To help me with my important climb.
So I’ll keep rhyming simple rhymes
And you keep punishing all my crimes.
And maybe we could meet some time?
When I’m finished with my climb.
And we might laugh at stupid rhymes
And forget those silly crimes.
For if we do not meet up soon
I’ll jump into a hot air balloon
And leave behind the sun, the moon,
Away from Grey Tectonic Ruin.
But if I do not stop to see
The guilty child concealing glee,
And the struggles of others surrounding me,
Can I afford that infinite fee?
I could just listen to what they say,
And just ‘take it day by day’.
Heroin, Ecstasy, MDMA
They make you forget but it never goes away.
With You I’ll have the world at my feet,
Free of the shackles, of the old concrete.
No more enemies or demons to defeat.
No more monotonous days to repeat.
With You the days won’t be the same.
Life won’t just be a pointless game.
And there won’t be anymore rain.
And maybe I’ll forget the pain
Of hearing the smart man in the fancy clothes,
Of losing her and all I know,
Of taking those hard and constant blows;
Of crying as that old man handed me
One black rose.
Borders by Tal Nelken
When people say the word ‘desert’
They imagine sand dunes
Under the scorching sun
When I hear the word ‘desert’
I think of Messada
Of the famous last stand
On top of the mountain
That leads down through rocks and stones
To the Dead Sea.
My friend and I were walking
Along the river Banias
Named after an ancient Greek god.
We came to a beautiful, beautiful waterfall.
She asked me: “Is this what they want
To give back for peace?
Over my dead body.”
And everyone laughed
Even though we all knew
That deep inside
We were crying.
Rest in Roses by Chester Abellera
She wakes up from wishing on a drifting star,
finds herself asking for forgiveness again,
questioning God’s existence, she lays back down,
her pillow still cold from the tears she cries.
She pulls up her sheets to cover her eyes,
disgusted by the morning’s beautiful light.
Moments later she’s back up again
and whispers a prayer to him;
“Make me a butterfly, let me fly far.
Take these broken wings (let me go), let me run far away.
My nights are empty, my days are dead,
Rid me of these nightmares that dwell in my head.
Do I find you in time, or am I dreaming (dreaming again ?)”
Later that evening, in a mirror right in front of her
She sees a familiar face, but everything else was so different,
nothing was the way it should be.
And in the night, she woke up from dreaming, a bad dream it seems.
She gets up, leaves behind the prayers, she’s had enough.
Her face left dry, there were no more tears left to cry.
She opens her window and tells herself:
“Not a butterfly with broken wings,
but a flower in the wind.”
She’s made up her mind,
she’s losing herself,
she’s going away, (She’s going away)
She finds her rest in roses…
Teacher Ms Grainne McCarthy, Joshua Martin, Pepe O'Farrell and
Chester Abellera of Marian College, Dublin with Seamus Cashman
Lost: Moldavian dog by Yotam Berger
Recently, I adopted a dog. We found it in the street. It was very dirty, full of madness, and it looked very confused. It got nervous about us staring at him, but let us to get very close to him. With its miserable look, we had nothing to do but to take it to the veterinary. After getting to the veterinary, the vet told us a long story, about it being a special Russian dog: a special breed of dogs with a special history. Exactly the kind of dog you would want in your house.
We fell in love with the dog. It seemed to be so cute, so we almost forgot about its aggression. "It'll definitely be able to defend the house from robbery", we convinced ourselves. After few moments of trying to convince my mom (who said that it's too aggressive), the family decision was to adopt him. The vet supported our decision- he said that it'll be a shame to let this very proud Russian dog to just wander around in the city. "Anyway", said the vet, "this is the kind of dog you need. It'll be sweet with the children, but it'll attack if it'll be necessary. It's very Israeli. While thinking about it. You can definitely say that this is a Russian-Israeli dog". After the vet game him some vaccine injections, we took our new dog home.
After a short research on the internet we found out that the vet was lying. The dog wasn't a Russian dog, but some sort of combination between a Moldavian dog, and a smaller, friendlier dog. Maybe a Poodle. "Not Russian", said my father, "And surely not Israeli. But Moldavian and Moldavian is good. Plus, as we said, it is exactly what we need- he'll defend us, but will be cute and a nice dog most of the time. Who cares whether he's Russian or not?". The decision to keep the dog stayed as it was, even if he's not a Russian dog at all. However, we found out that this decision is a bit problematic, after discovering that our new dog is much more aggressive than we thought.
It began when a close friend of mine came to visit the house. That friend is a left-wing activist, and he came with a T shirt of the Communist Israeli Party, "Hadash". Even if we argue about politics sometimes, and even if I don't agree with his opinion, I respected my friend very much. But in the moment we got home, our new dog started barking at my friend like mad, and didn't let him to get inside the room. He barked so loud, we had to forgive the idea of getting inside and went to sit in a nearby caffe. We joked, after it, that my new dog hates left wing activists.
I'm living in a "mixed neighborhood", which is an Israeli political-correct way to say a neighborhood with a Jewish population, Arabic population, Orthodox population, and in our specific neighborhood, some European diplomats. Until we adopted the dog, we had very good relations with our neighbors. We said "Ahalan" to the Arabs, "Shabat Shalom" to the Orthodoxies and English "good morning" to the diplomats. The dog ruined our relations with our neighbors. He attacked one of our Arabic neighbors, bitted into the ankle of one of the Orthodoxies and ripped the dress of one of the diplomats. It is not necessary to mention that we we're not very popular in the neighborhood since then.
And about the dog? Poor little thing! We can't just get rid of our beloved Moldavian dog! Yes, he is pretty aggressive and he's not Russian or Israeli at all, but we can't just leave it in the street!
But the dog solved that problem by himself. Yesterday, very early in the morning, when we took it outside to defecate, a patrol vehicle car went by us, and done some noise. When the dog just heard the police getting close to us, he released from the collar, ran into the neighborhood and disappeared. Just like he was sure the police are chasing him.
So, please, if you'll find a Moldavian who's acting like a Russian Israeli, barking at left wing activists, hates Arabs, Orthodoxies and diplomats, very aggressive and afraid of the police, phone the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs. They're missing the minister.