Elis Elmo

London, UK

I'm about to turn 29 a few days after #Bedfest and it will be my 4th birthday entirely bedbound (unable to sit, stand or be transferred during that time). I have been unwell for 7+ years. I live in London, UK but am Welsh. I write poetry mostly about my experiences of illness and the internal emotional experience of having an illness that is often disbelieved. Reflecting this in poetry is empowering. I'm still a musician at heart but use apps on my iPad to have little moments of music making. Not quite the same as my trumpet playing days but my hope is to improve enough health wise to do more music making using my ipad.

Follow Elis on his website


- by E. Elmo


Sometimes I hang one leg

out of my bed,

and feel the resistance

against my skin.

Foot planted on the ground,

leg pushing down lightly

– hardly a firm foundation

(but a foundation none the less).

My body remembers,

though it cannot yet engage fully.

Left overcome with loss,

I remain hopeful.

It remembers,

My body remembers



- by E. Elmo


I feel like a fraud

as if you somehow applaud

my impairments

and dismiss my humanity

like I should accurately represent

each bit of disability

and owe it to myself and you;

to leave no detail of my ability unturned,

lest you judge me not worthy

of your pity and concern


It's not pity I seek

so why do my thoughts reek

of contradiction?

conflating human worth

with affliction?

As if I'm being tested

And every human being is invested

In MY final score.


I KNOW the reason

I've taken each word

They've uttered

Leaving no memory uncovered

building layer upon layer

Of denial,

Forever putting myself on trial

holding close each time they didn't believe

Til my very core screams;

That merely to exist

is to deceive