Poems & stories by young people

Have a read of some of the excellent work produced by students during Writers in Schools sessions. 

Poems and stories by students in Castleknock Community College Transition Year participating in a Writer in Residence programme with Debbie Thomas

I wish 

by Rusul Malallah

I have found my place  
where I see the world  
with a wish in my eyes 
that one day I  
will save the life  
of some poor soul. 

I will hold that soul, 
young or old, 
and fly high in the sky, 
be the hope in their eyes, 
draw a smile on their face 
that will fill my heart 
with a joy     
I can’t explain.  

These Five Girls 

by Marianne Brady

Five girls who considerately collide. 
What are the chances you’d meet four others  
Who understand you like no one else? 
They look up at me 
As we split our 30 cent sweets 
Five ways. 
We have laughs 
Upon laughs 
Upon laughs. 
I can rant and cry 
Without fear that they’ll judge 
Or walk away. 
These girls show me daily  
How much I’m loved. 
They are my world.  

Stepping up 

by Oscar McMahon

In work experience, I was showing an old couple to their table. It was window-facing with a stair up to it. I told them to  watch their step. Before I finished my sentence, the couple took each other’s hands and he helped her up with ease because he had been doing that for her for so long.  

I imagined all the old couples that have developed rituals, routines like that through the years. My grandparents, married in 1961, Granddad opening and closing the door for her as she passes every time. My parents, married in 1990, Dad spending his lunch breaks helping Mum in her busy day. All the billions there have been, and will be, to help each other up each day’s step.  

No Longer at Home 

by Katie McCormick

I try to stand still as I wait for assistance. 
But the hateful hover takes over again 
Making me question my existence.  

‘What happened this time?’ the young girls sighs 
As she looks at my feet. 
I stay silent, 
Too embarrassed to explain the pain. 
My legs shake from the heat. 

In these dismal and dreary moments 
I think back to the times 
When I could move, free as a bird, 
Not held back by the ache in my behind.  

I know it could be worse 
That’s more than clear to see 
But when I glance at my nurse 
I’m overcome by the monster of jealousy. 

She has a pair of legs 
Just as I do 
Except there is one big difference – 
Hers can properly move. 

Every day feels the same. 
I yearn for someone in this ‘home’ 
To learn more about me than just my last name 
And the limbs that cause so much shame.  


By Ellamarie 

A tall, lean girl 
Dark hair 
Pale face, long nose 
Tight lips that never smile.  
Mean hard eyes 
Quick to judge and sneer, 
Full of fear 
Of missing out.  
She keeps to herself  
But boasts and brags, 
Knows everything  
about everyone. 


by Róisín Murray

You spill your thoughts 
Then tell me you’re fine 
As you regain your breath. 
You say it like a prayer 
Trying to convince me 
Or maybe yourself. 

You close off again 
As I tell you  
How proud I am that you’ve asked for help 
Even if I don’t know what help to give. 

It’s like watching someone 
Drive a car 
Who’s never learned how. 
Helpless I stand  
At the side of the road 
Giving instructions over the phone, 
Hoping you can hear them 
Above the roar 
Of engines and adrenaline. 

Begging the universe 
For no faulty brakes 
And that you won’t leave me 
Picking up your pieces. 

The King 

By Barra Lynch

Seeing Ronnie Coleman in a wheelchair, I was shocked. He was the king of bodybuilding and now he can barely walk. 

Ronnie Coleman, he breaks the rack, 
Greatest all time cobra-back. 
When he lifts, he screams aloud 
‘Lightweight baby’ into the crowd. 
Back to reality, now on wheels, 
Ronnie Coleman, the new ‘Hot-Wheels’.  

Poems by students participating in the 'We Write What We Like' project, supported by CDETBSCC (City of Dublin Education and Training Board Sports & Cultural Council) and JCSP (Junior Certificate Schools Programme)

The Wait

by Nadine Kelly Hughes, Margaret Aylward Community College

Moons and stars and planets and galaxies
They all make their way to me in the end
Their inescapable journey
Drawn to me slowly
Pulling and pushing away
But they all end up here

Humans and aliens and beasts
as tough as they may be
end up here

Shooting stars
and ice cream
and bright blue skies with clouds rolling by
Wishes made on eyelashes
And dreams thrown into wells
And laughter

And joy

Red dwarfs and nebulas and constellations
And all that has ever been and all that will never be
They all end up here
Crushed and consumed and devoured hungrily
I tear at them with large unseen claws
I rake across them violently
Gripping and pulling and tearing
I tear at them all and stuff my mouth
Over and over and over
But I am never full

I am the waiting mouth that sits on the edge of space
Dark and unknown and nothing
Made only to wait and wait

All things make their way to me
All things end their journey with me
All things come to me in the end
And so I wait



by Olivia Barabanchuk, Presentation College

Chase rainbows and
Earthquakes dashingly,
For order and chaos
Walk hand in hand unflinching.

Seek out your purpose -
The golden thread that coils
In the innermost parts of your chest -
And unwind it.

Release the shroud
That haunts the deep grooves of your brain
And marrow of your bones.
Only then can you
Light the torch
To guide you to
Your next adventure.


The Stars Must Truly Pity Humanity

by Féile O'Farrell, Presentation College

The stars must truly pity humanity
With our wingless backs and graceless essence
They most likely jeer
As we look up at them with a hopeless wonder
They must find it humorous
That any of us think we can reach their divinity.

The stars must truly loathe humanity
With our toxic clouds and disrupting false lights
They most likely glare at us
As we dismiss their signs with a scoff
They must find it horrific
That we are aware how we damage their beauty.

The stars must truly miss humanity
With our needless connecting and worship
They most likely weep for us
As we treat their dark cloak as a nuisance
They must find it sorrowful
That those who used to rely on their grace now simply drift and ignore the once adored


Silver Chain

by Chelsea Bowes, St Kevin’s College

Silver, enchanting,
Full of memories that haunt me,
Beautifully detailed
With a long chain of ancestry.
Something so small,
Holding generations of secrets
Young and old, good and bad.
From the Easter Rising to the twenty first century,
From all the people who have come before me,
Giving a sense of responsibility.
An honour it feels, entrusting me
With something so rich in history,
Of something so much bigger than me –
This little heart of mine.



by Sean Molloy, St Kevin’s College

Space is a vast sea of darkness
That can lead to places
Humans couldn’t even think of,
Like planets made of gas or
Planets that rain diamonds.
No one knows
What the universe could hold,
If it be space pirates
Or a guy named


A Box of Home

by Isabel Carberry, Kylemore College

Home is my nan’s jewellery box.
When you turn the key
It sings and sets off
A man in a suit
And a girl in a gown
Spinning, spinning around.

Inside are little felt boxes and drawers
That carry her smell
Of faded Chanel
From a tiny bottle
With a diamond top. 

I loved the way she smiled at me.
Now she’s smiling down on me,
Her memories all caught for me
Inside this little box.


Poems by students participating in the Oileán Programme 2017

The poems in this booklet were created by students from Coláiste an Eachréidh, Athenry, Go. Galway and Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, during a series of workshops with poets Áine Ní Ghlinn and Geraldine Mithell, as part of the Oileán Programme.

The Oileán Programme was made possible by the Irish American Partnership in honour of Anne Anderson, the 17th Ambassador of Ireland to the United States. Ambassador Anderson was granted an honorary award by the Irish American Partnership, which saw her bestowal of a donation to a charitable cause of her choice in Ireland. The ambassador was inspired to support a poetry initiative which would give students in Ireland the opportunity to enjoy workshops with poets and writers, on the themes of emigration and the diaspora. Poetry Ireland was chosen as the organisation to deliver the Oileán Programme through the Writers in Schools Scheme.
>> Download booklet

Kate Newmann Residency, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

The work below was created by students of St Genevieve’s High School, Belfast during a residency with poet, Kate Newmann, which was supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

by Holly Mulhern

I heard him breathing, my stepdad. One month after his death it started. Each night I’d lie awake in the dark, aching for sleep that would not come. Around the hour of 3 am it would start. It wasn’t normal breathing; it was as though he was sleeping. Time and time again I would try to dismiss it as lack of sleep teasing me. But one night the silence stayed. I remember deciding I would get up to reassert the normality of my house, and as I walked up the landing I passed my mother’s open bedroom door, the darkened room empty of her but full of her sadness, that refused to sleep in a bed without him, destined for the lumpy sofa. He stood in the eerie light cast by bedroom down the hall. He stood there and then I blinked, and he didn’t.

I listen like the insomnia that plagued us.
Silence chooses my volatile understanding.
The relationship bone and breath share, is rhythm and empty promises, once full now impossible.
Belief is the moment when you remember someone’s meaning on a normal day and you see your reflection in the glass of your back door for a moment and the emotion of your own face pounds its fist into your chest sharply.

Nothing Compares
by Danny Rafferty

The rock was different and jagged. It took many by surprise. That rock was given to me on a cold winter’s night. I greet a sour expression as the rock is thrown angrily into the back seat of the car. The rock was small and soft but in time it grew, and with that so did my love for the rock. The rock cracked as it fell into the ground, and with that, so did I. But we slowly tried to make do with the rock we now had, because in the end it was the same rock. The rock and I cracked together, and before I realised it was breaking, it was taken away and deemed broken.

Black Mountain
by Tara McCann

A dragon eye that is black and purple.
Its language is time.
The mountain fears to be alone.

>> Read more from this residency

Dromineer Literary Festival Primary Schools Competition 2017

There were 518 entries in 2017's Dromineer Lirerary Festival Primary Schools Competition, from 12 schools in the area. The poems were judged by Geraldine Mitchell, and you can read a selection of the winning poems here. 
>> Read winning poems

Poetry Day Ireland 2016

These poems were created in response to Poetry Ireland's Poetry Day Ireland classroom resources in 2016. 

Poems by children in Milford National School, Castletroy, Co. Limerick
>> Read poems

Poems by children in St Michael's National School, Bere Island, Co. Cork
>> Read poems

JCSP Library Project with Mairead Duggan

The Boy on the Train, by 2nd Year Áine Class, Mount Carmel Secondary School.
>> Read story