When we announced the Hope & Heart Unite for ME/CFS Poetry & Art Slam project together with Lev Leytzan, we said, "Your words and art have power." The heart and hope shared in your words and images truly left us speechless. We thank each and every person who submitted a heartfelt entry. You have truly touched our hearts and inspired many people.
We are honored how our OMF community has ascended to new heights for this project. We received over 130 submissions from 17 countries. The poetry and art are available for you to view here.
Our panel of judges and your votes combined to identify the poems that most represent hope. In total, all submissions received over 2,000 online votes.
We are pleased to announce the winning poem is Even Though by Laurie Glass. Laurie captured the essence of hope for so many. We thank Laurie for her message and thoughtful use of imagery.
By Laurie Glass
Even though we’re sick, in pain,
and our bodies feel so drained,
we feel the agony unfold,
our lives are put on hold,
we keep our inner strength.
Even though we’ve gone away,
and we’re missing ev’ry day,
we feel we’re on our own,
yet know we aren’t alone,
together we are stronger.
Even though we’ve all been wronged,
we’ve been ignored for oh, so long,
for years we’ve been denied,
our needs were set aside,
we are grateful things are changing.
Even though we’ve been unheard,
others help us spread the word,
together we’re unstoppable,
we’re making changes possible.
We’ll never stop trying.
Even though we are in tears,
grieve the loss of many years,
experts work on our behalf,
to try to get us back.
We’re grateful for each one.
Even though our hearts are breakin’,
even though our lives were taken,
we try to keep on dreaming,
we try to keep believing
that better days will come.
We are now working to create a song to share this message of hope. However, like this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, we have decided that multiple poems will best create the strongest message in a song. Therefore, we will be creating a "mash-up" with several poems and will announce the additional selections at a later date. The musical artist has begun working on the song and it will be released during our upcoming #MayMomentum.
We are pleased to share below some of the pictures that our community loved. Visit our website to see additional artwork.
Thank you to everyone who joined in solidarity to build more awareness and share hope.
We look forward to the upcoming song and the 2nd Annual Hope & Heart Unite for ME/CFS.