The SAOL Sisters took part in a number of workshops with the Abbey Theatre in June and July 2013 - and they led to the creation of 'Wordplay' - a street performance piece of poetry and rap. The rap was originally written and performed by Cathleen O'Neil at the celebration for International Women's day in March 2013; the poetry (which can be found below) was written during the workshops. Composed as oral pieces, they were written to be read aloud - so join-in by reading along below!
Back in the Hey Day
By Sharon Ryan
No school, off we blow,
knocking or whistling
come on were hitting our NeeGaa.
Doing the dish jump and hitting Hector Grey’s big mansion
as it was burned down,
In out with different toys in our hoodies
even ‘doe the smell of smoke
we didn’t care once we were safe and out of there.
So start at the beginning of the dish
at the skinny part
jumping and leaping like little frogs
all the way down
the jump it got wider
who ever fell in was sent back to NeeGaa to work
and we would jump and jump till one of us win.
Winner “no work today goo-on hip a ray”
Right SWIFTY off ya blow
collect sticks, paper and anything to burn and bring back to NeeGaa. Mucky, dirty,
filthy grassy smell but we don’t care coz one of them fell.
K yup yup 7 up lets blow
time to eat,
over my back wall I go for potatoes burned in me Da’s tar
and bud you go get tea
and SWIFTY went got the jar.
Bread with sugar was another!!!!
Sketch Gotchee would come from the one and other (brother)
to warn us to watch each other.
Cri’p sambos were the treat before we were called
Coomme oooon get in now its time to eat.
K MA or DA I’m on me way, 5 more mins please.
After dinner and hearing
“Ahh leave her alone a Mucky child is a healthy child”.
Off I’d go to scrub myself clean and sneak into Big bro’s room
rob a splash of Izzy Meacky
which still is a smell in my life today.
So hey after all I aint fucking Whacky……
By Michelle Kavanagh
Lying in my room, I get the delicious smell,
It’s Sunday again in our house, you could tell,
Mash potatoes, veg and roast beef,
all dossing around can’t wait to eat,
waiting for mam’s roar, we fly through the door
all of us wanting the best seat.
Everyone’s shouting for the gravy cup
not wantingto be last with only a sup.
I sit and I look for the biggest plate
I always do it, get myself in a state,
I slowly roam my eyes around the table but
Always end up with more than I am able,
So I slowly let the veg fall on the floor
even the dog loves it she’s looking for more.
That’s when you really hear my mam roar
‘There’s going to be murder at the kitchen table’,
Cause I did it again I got the biggest plate
And once again I’m not able,
But give us a minute and we’ll want desert
And that’s when mam really goes berserk
By Jennifer Ross
Our hands clenched tightly
White knuckles shining brightly,
Will we make it across?
I don’t know girl, you’re the boss!!!!
Water gushes down the waterfall
Oh Linda, you better make sure I don’t fall,
We move to the edge and dip in a toe
Oh god, now it’s too late to say no,
We tiptoe across water gushing through our feet,
The two of us skitting, laughing
All I can hear is my own heart-beat,
The boys are shouting and jeering us on
COME ON GIRL, JUMP, WE BETTER COP ON
My Na Na's House
by Elaine Reid
The big brown door;
brass handle as shiny as can be
would open wide and the long dark hallway...
The smell of dinner wafting through the hall,
BACON, CABBAGE, and POTATOES
And NaNA in the scullery
“YUM YUM, PIGS BUM, CABBAGE AND POTATOES”
I run through the long, dark hallway filled with excitement -
After all, I have the best Nan in the world.
Sitting on her stool,
small, stout woman
and her handmade apron tied under her bosom
Her little 2 in 1 stereo on the top of the washing machine
playing her songs,
From Dolly Parton,
to the old Irish rebel songs
filled the scullery air.
The deep boom of the “traditional Irish Bodhran”
mixed with the haunting of the “Tin Whistle”.
The noise of the clattering “Tin Spoons”,
“Guitar” playing to the husky voice of
One of my Nan’s Legends,
so proud cause she knew his family so well.
So there she sat in the scullery on her stool……
in her handmade apron…….
cooking us dinner…….
and showing us her LOVE!!!
By Sabrina Noone
He was very funny in the gang,
When we hung out in the flats.
He didn’t realise I had a crush on him.
Seconds pass, hours fly by,
when we touched,
Butterflies not one,
fluttering frantically deep in the pit of my tummy,
Goosebumps hairs shoot up straight
like millions of him standing on my skin.
I am shivering with him all over me,
forever this I want it to be,
For all of time whatever will he, will he
My Scouse Mate
by Orla Dempsey
I hold my breath as the bell finally rings,
Her adrenalin, at high, from knocking another opponent out
I hold my breath as a 1000 words per minute rambles off her tongue
Full of adrenalin, I listen intensely to her distinct Scouse accent
Every so often she’d take a breath,
‘…do ye know whaa I mean lyyke’
Cerise luminous pink bear’s paws adorn her feet
Along with her male tropical shorts,
a white baggy vest top,
We meander down Ballyfermot road without a care in the world
Her attire is accessorized with an array of cheap, tacky, holy, miraculous medals and bracelets
which glisten in Dublin sunny haze
Her daughter’s name proudly tattooed across her breastbone in an artistic scroll with an old style pen
along with her Liverpool crest which she kisses religiously when watching her hero’s play.
When she smiles the side of her face goes up to the side
Her make up free face is dotted with freckles
yet when heading out
she dips her face with glitter and colours of the rainbow
which would dance in her illuminous pink hair -
A pair of fairy wings clipped onto her back and
We’re set for a night of the crazy unknown
and I know I’ll never walk alone within this friendship
By Sabrina Byrne
Wind, water, gushing of the rocks
Vile, bad fishy smell,
Cooked winkles wafting through the house,
Chips cooking in oil, vinegar goes up your nose,
Gooey, cold, rough,
Rocks, bad falls, cuts bruises,
Waves further out, shimmering circles from fish
Disturbing the water,
Not big enough to eat,
But darting around your feet,
Glinting silvery under the water, just flying by,
Grey, silvery, some sharp, some smooth,
The size of your nail/the size of your palm,
Moving under your feet,
Delicious but painful, worthwhile but sore,
getting into every crack
Licking my lips,
ON FISH and Chips,
By Sandra Hanlon
Her voice echos to the sound of a place I know,
Buses, cars and motorbikes on the go,
The sound of alarms going off in the shop,
Some flashing green and red on the top,
On long summer evenings we’d sit on the grass,
As we watched the young kids playing and walking passed
The Roller Rink on a Sunday Afternoon
By Rachel Martin
The smell of hairspray and perfume
choking any living object in my bedroom
as I put Mwah to perfection.
As I run for the 18 bus to go the Gala Roller-Rink
our Sunday ritual
to meet the cuz and friends.
Checking the clobber out as I come near my bus stop.
Before I know it, I am there, putting on my skates,
smell of popcorn only massive.
Walls vibrating to Yazz “The Only Way is Up”
and in my case, the only way is up onto the dance floor.
Everyone circling to the different songs
bringing you to another level
as I head over to my aunty to give her a hug.
She is showing off to all the trippers, the losers
as we are more advanced,
not needing our stoppers.
Making new moves to talk about in school during the week
Nothing compares to the feeling
as we confidently dance around to different songs
bringing you to a different level.
Where else would a 15 year old want to be on a Sunday afternoon?
The following poems were written on 22nd June 2011 - positive, uplifitng, reflective and sometimes a little sad, they emerged from a group will to try something new:
A Woman's Growing Pains
By Elaine Maguire
In love’s sweet success’
The clouds of loneliness follow me,
I was singing in the choir,
I was there for every hour, hoping you’d notice me
I remember the debs all, I felt so tall
Collecting my degree,
I blushed and nearly fell to my knees
A woman now I am
Who grew from you somehow?
My teacher, my mystery
Could not tell my mam
My dad so wise and calm
Here I am with this crush
Trying to grow up in a rush
And nobody noticed me.
By Paula Kearney
A young woman crying in her kitchen
Dreaming of diamonds and magic
With her head in the clouds
And her heart on the ground
At this moment her life feels so tragic
Then a knock on her door
Makes her stop and explore what’s going on around her
It’s her child coming in so she sticks out her chin
And remembers the love that surrounds her
This Time, This Summer
By Sue Brereton
I feel its time to go away
I don’t need any material possessions
Where my destination may be
My journey for answers to questions
With a head filled of “I musts”
A face that looks so blue
I wish I was at a wishing well
I throw more than a penny or two
I’m looking for that peace mind
Maybe an oasis of calm
To free me of my weariness
Silver to cross a ladies palm
A new feeling comes over me now
Beads of sweat form
As my journey is nearly done
I swear this time is the last time
By Shirley Brennan
I went to a concert
And the music was pumping
Some were dancing
And some were jumping
Then I left with my children
As we went on to play for rest of the day
Putting pennies in the wishing well
Then they were like demons from hell
The day was a success
As it came to an end
I wrote in my diary
As I had some time to spend.
By Siobhan Dowling
It was a balmy summers night about midnight when I came upon a beautiful sight, a wishing well that seemed to pull me right, towards it as if by magic and as I was in a bit of a plight that beautiful summers night I decided to investigate.
I looked down into the most amazing sparkling, twinkling water I had ever seen, and as I looked and looked again I thought my eyes were deceiving me.
The water was shining so bright like diamonds glimmering in the light that it was almost like a crystal ball.
I started to see images, me at first writing in my diary, then the water seemed to turn fiery in colour and next I heard singing from below, I looked down again and saw myself bringing cases to the airport, humming to myself with a smile on my face, then I was landing in china.
I knew I had wanted to travel and as the scenes unravelled I was bedazzled by the spectacle of me being a success, instead of having a future of stress, my future looked bright that beautiful, balmy summer's night at midnight.
By Mairead Dowling
Children playing in the park
Climbing trees and all that lark
There's magic in the air.
The clouds in the sky look like diamonds
That are so clear
Beautiful clours in the sky
And that is why I feel so high.
By Martine Dawnay
Children are a Summer day
When all of them come out to play
With voices that are loud and clear
Singing along for all to hear
Colours bright and late nights
Skipping ropes, china dolls, toy guns and games to play
When the days are endless and clouds seem far
Mountains to climb
Success is mine
I remember those days
It all seemed so fine
Now I have children of my own
I hope their summers are as good as mine
For memories are all I have
Of those Summers gone by
By Sandra Grimes
Tonight will be a special night
At least until midnight
There will be long dresses and girls
With their tresses
Not allowed to go to the bar
So won’t be able to have a jar
There will be no jeans or t-shirts
So I will have a bit of a flirt.
Everybody is going from work and all
So at least for a fact we will have a ball
By Susan Moulds
Summer is great,
summer is the best,
but honest love I could do with a rest
laying in my bed,
fucked-up in my head,
I have a bath, daughter the first,
feel like a sap,
don’t mean to rap.
Fucked-up in my head,
should be in bed,
need to get out , play about,
Summer's good, Summer is the best
on with the shape-up,
don’t need the make up,
out the door with haversack,
fell on thefloor, now on my back,
don’t need crack,
don’t need blow,
Ijust go with the flow.
Heading for work in a hurry
in my head full of worries.
Summer is good, summer is the best
but by Jaysus my head in a mess
up and down all around
some times I feel like Krustey the clown.
Summer is good,
Summer is the best,
My Family is thebusiness,
Don’t have topick them like apple trees
But honestly I wouldn’t pick them any differently
Summer is good, Summer is the best
Thanks to God I am blessed.
A Past Relationship
By Sandra Mooney
I feel like a bird
High in the sky
No more lies,
I am free and so is he,
I can do what I want,
I can speak to the boys
And play with my ties.
I can even flirt but
I am not even ready,
No more heavy emotions
Coming my way,
More cash in my pocket
And no more hash to smoke,
No more broke Sandra,
I can shop till I bop and drop.
Can’t wait to get my own (apt) place,
I won’t have to face him again,
Out of sight, out of mind,
Cruel to be kind.
No more late nights,
No more fights,
Peace of mind and I am
Looking forward to leave the past behind
This poem is dedicated to my bosses in my favourite job I ever had. It’s called SAOL, in Amiens Street. To Ger, Gary and Barry and can’t forget Belinda.Sandra Mooney
In the Summer of 2010, the SAOL Sisters wrote the song "My children, My Future". Sung to the tune of the "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens, the lyrics are reproduced below:
My Children, My Future
I’ve taken back what’s mine,
My Dreams , my peace of mind.
The hope I have today,
Is the strength to stay away.
The Day you came into my life,
My heart started beating.
I didn’t realize that you’d started cheating.
What about my dreams,
What about my heart,
Why did I let this relationship start.
I let my Children Love you.
I let them call you da.
Don’t know why I did it.
I thought that we’d go far.
My children are my life,
I’ll love them every day.
I’ll do all in my power,
To protect them in every way.
Change is going to come.
It’s gonna come today.
I’m gonna find the strength,
To fight another day.
Barnie’s is the place,
I just don’t want to be,
Hangin’ round corners
Is not a life for me.