Colm Flood (age 15), Beaufort College, Navan, Co Meath

Colm Flood

There are three types of noise in the school building.

The first:

A loud and raucous chorus

By teens

Desperate to be heard.

A fierce yelling match

Between peers,

Trying to prove their opinions are


By screaming and shouting,

Louder and louder,

Failing to realise that

Adding volume

Does not change the outcome.

A sound that drowns out others

In order to stay afloat. Teachers

shout to quiet

The cacophony in vain.

Attempting to calm the storm,

Only adding to the

Furious pandemonium.




All lost in the madness of

organised chaos.

The second:

A soft, suppressed noise

Barred behind the wall of obvious


Nearly never heard

Although just as valuable

Pens tapping

Soft humming

Feeting hitting off the floor

The quiet ensemble of the waves,

As they hit against the shore

Loud enough to be heard

Yet overshadowed by the louder

and bigger waves.

The third:

The voices in your head.

Only ever heard by you.

The thoughts and ideas tucked away

Constantly fighting to be heard inside yourself.

Desperately trying to figure out

Who you are


Why you’re here.

Rarely ever letting people know a


Of what goes on inside your head.

Keeping your potential

Locked away,

Letting nobody see the person within.

Trapped inside your own mind.

When noise is segregated.

It is violent and painful

Anarchic and Monstrous


With a talented conductor

Who understands

And accepts

All sounds

There is beautiful music

The school building causes a

maelstrom of white noise.

It is up to students to figure out

How to listen.

To create heart-warming vocals

with the first noise.

An orchestral accompaniment

with the second

And finally,

A sweet melodic symphony

in their own mind

That binds and connects it all.