Melbourne, Australia

Penelope Langmead

I am 59 years old, was diagnosed with ME and Fibromyalgia 10 years ago.

You can find Penelope on Facebook, and she has a performance page on Starnow

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—by Penelope Cohen-Langmead


I comment and share.

Suddenly I feel that relief -

An idea shared,

A laugh, an anger,

A grief, a love


It may be the push of a button.

It may be a virtual remote "wall".

But then come likes,

Or even dislikes,

Even trolls,

But it's shared.

Ignoring or being kind to the trolls,

Turning off the bullies,

Examining who likes,


Other's comments,

I share.

It's a small part of the world,

But it's much bigger

Than my own reality.

Here I can join, belong,

Follow consider,

Try my words.

I have long minutes,

Hours, even days

To think about my response.

The relief that my comment doesn't really count,

Allows freedom to make it count to the person who matters.


So in the vast, amorphous mass

Where we meet faceless,


Floating in the aeons of the internet,

I can in fact find


Find choices, places,

Likes, loves, angers, tears,

Wows, hearts and so much more.

It is a place to comment.

How real the connection?

You may ask.

How real is any connection?

I conclude.

Deception, manipulation,

Falsehood, indiscretion,

Withholding, judging,

All exist face to face,

Voice to voice,

Eye to eye,

Ear to ear,

Body to body.

Real trolls,

Real bullies,

Also exist in real life.

So in this book I

Step, explore, consider,

Tiptoe, frolic, scroll,

Stop, read, like,

Follow, flip, block,

Belong, find, enjoy


It's my book,

My face.


"On trying to recall"


What was it I thought?

And if I write,

Open my mind with

2B in hand and paper before,

Will it rise,

Shake loose,

Come out when bidden?


Like the lost keys,

Lost glasses,

Lost gift or chocolate -

Placed carefully to defy casual exposure

By another -

But not really hidden,

Just placed safely until needed,

And yet where placed



I know they are there

My thoughts,

My glasses,

My keys,

That specially placed

Birthday surprise,

That delicious chocolate,

All there,

Not lost,

Safely in my head,

My home,

But where?


Neurons scramble,

Eyes flash,

Hands search

Room to room,

Anxious asking,

Where, where, where?


Frustrated, feeling


If only I could ring my glasses,

Ring my keys,

Ring that gift,

Ring that chocolate,

Ring those thoughts.

So I could pounce and show

On face, in bag,

In grateful mind,

In mouth,

On paper.


I would write what

I remembered -

Good, thoughtful,


Brewed in brain with time and space.

I would write what's

Rich, considered,

Processed, deep.

Instead I write of

Misplaced thoughts and

Misplaced things.

Misplaced or displaced?


Failing to write immediately,

Failing to notate,

Scribble, contain a memory or thought,

It can be displaced

And float on the murky, treacherous

Brain soup in my head.

Like displaced people


Looking for a shore,

A kind connection,

A place to be safe and secure,

A place to belong.


So I will wait,

Breathing deeply,

Looking kindly across the murky muddle,

Offering peace to

That jangled brain soup.

I will write each day.

I will invite kindly

Thoughts, ideas,

Images, words,

Rhythm, lines

And whole displaced poems

To come.




I will invite

The brain soup to make sense.

Invite safe landing on this scribbled page

And not censor what arrives at this time.

All has a place when I scribble.

All are welcome on this notebook island.

Later I will look closer,

At form, place,

Worth, story,

Where you might be strong enough to go

On somewhere.

But you can always safely remain here.


As for the scabby frustration of

Lost glasses, keys,

Secret gifts,

Forbidden chocolates,

Out of reach and mind,


Find a place,

Put it there,

Find some method in the madness,

Don't waste time, effort, emotion.

These are the routines of life

Nothing more or less.

And yet in seeking

Perhaps a new neuron is connected,


And I learn.



© Penelope Cohen-Langmead 2017