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‘Illuminations’ takes writing further

A group of Coolock students has been devoting lunchtimes and their own free time to create poems and stories of a high calibre. Material is brought in and critically appraised by the group.

This year our focus has been on reworking. They find it hard to believe, but a second draft of a written piece is always better than the first! Works were analysed and improved; the plan is next to develop ways to present them, either with illustrations, decorations or a combination. Below is some recent poetry by Chelsea Johnston-Bailey.

Illuminations writers: Sophie Barianos BK1, Kiara Clarke BK2, Deanna Duane CH3, Piper Dunlop VT3, Cameron Fields MY3, Kai Lim JR3, Ruby McEvoy MY4, Daisy Perley BK1, Isabella Rossi MY4, Claudia Scott JR4

(Image: Ezoterycznie)

Hello, My Dear

It’s an endless ocean

It’s a lifeless ocean

I float this empty ocean alone

Just me and the red sky



I don’t move

I let the black waves take me to wherever they wish

I feel their cool touch roll up my ankles, my legs, my back, my head

I close my eyes and let the ocean’s hands hold me and drag me under

Goodbye red sky

I sink deeper in this void – alone

Down, down, down

Just me and the black sea




My body feels heavy

I’ve become the black sea’s prisoner.

I let the black waves do with me as they wish

Goodnight former me

Who was former me?

I no longer remember

Did I even know who I was in the first place though?

It doesn’t matter

Nothing matters anymore

“… … …”

I hear a voice calling an unfamiliar name echo though the darkness

“iIt is time to wake up”

I hear but cannot see


Who are you?

“it is time to wake up”

I see a lone star shine by its lonesome through the darkness

I can feel its warmth touching my cheek

“… … …”

The star becomes brighter and bigger

Its shine begins to consume the black ocean

Its warmth soon cradles my whole body

My legs, my chest, my soul

The pure light lifts the agonising weight off my poor broken heart

A weight I had long forgotten was present

“It is well now, you are safe now”

The light spoke to me with its such gentleness and love

My body feels light

With our fingers intertwined, she begins to pull me up

Up, up, up

I let the white angel do with me as she wishes

Goodbye black ocean

I’ve been set free from your grip

Hello blue sky my old friend

I’ve missed you my dear

Chelsea Johnston-Bailey


How to be human

What does it mean to be human?

To be free?

To be Happy?

Being your true self?

(not anymore)

When did a place of striving and learning become a place of judgment and deadlines

(work, work, work until you DROP DEAD!!)

When did we start being defined by numbers?

(gotta get straight 100%)

When did being a sheep become a trend?

(you’re not like us, therefore, you’re not welcome)

When did being different become unacceptable?

(we don’t like different)

When did we start changing ourselves to please others?

(I don’t like that face. Try again)

When did our feelings stop being considered?

(to be accepted, you must wear a face that isn’t yours)

When did sharing opinions become a crime?

(wish share your thoughts? Be prepared for the world to hate you afterwards)

When did sharing jokes become an act of sin

(oh, it was just a joke… you’re DEAD to me)

When did money become more valuable than a human life

(I don’t care who I hurt, as long as it pays well)

When did money start buying happiness?

(I find happiness in objects, not people)

What does it mean to be human?

To be free?

To be Happy?

Being your true self?


It’s being number one!

It’s to be a sheep!

It’s To satisfy everyone but yourself!

(wait, that doesn’t seem right)

All that matter is, perfect grades, being in trend, and MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!!

(wait, wait, wait, WAIT)

To be truly human, we must throw away our identity!


We must throw away our individuality!


We must be straight A students!


We must be the richest pigs in the world!


We must keep our lips tightly shut!



What does it mean to be human?

Happiness, money?

Freedom, being a sheep?

Being yourself, being what people what you to be?

I don’t know

Did anyone know in the first place?

No one knows right from wrong anymore
We’ve lost our way

We forgot how to be human


What do we do now?

Where do we go from here?

Do we live the rest of our lives in misery?

(we find our way back to our roots)


(we need to throw away our current way of living and go back to old days)


(we need to stop killing ourselves trying to be the perfect student.)

(to stop being defined by numbers and start being defined by our names)

(to stop alienating people who are different)

(to stop caring so much what others think of us think of ourselves)

(to learn not to take life so seriously)

(to let people have their thoughts without punishing them for it)

(to stop buying happiness and find happiness instead)

Is that how to be human?


Then let us throw away our current ideals and go back!

Let us all come together!

Look at each other in the eyes!

Accept one another as we are!

Put ourselves first!

Be happy with who we are!

Let us go back…


Chelsea Johnston-Bailey