Open Medicine Foundation®
Leading research. Delivering hope.
ME/CFS and related chronic complex diseases

Hope & Heart Unite for ME/CFS


We invite poetry and art submissions for our first

Poetry & Art Slam.

Your words will help increase awareness and strengthen our community.

Poetry is a form of art used to express ideas, feelings, and messages. We invite the ME/CFS community to join OMF & the non-profit, Lev Leytzan, for a Poetry & Art Slam to share messages of hope for a healthier future for all people affected with ME/CFS. This is your opportunity to create a free-flowing word expression of your dreams for a healthier tomorrow.


Enter your Poem In Our First Poetry Slam Contest!

All entries should be about ME/CFS with a message of hope.  Poems may be submitted either in written or spoken (audio or video) free-form poetry or art. Written submissions should be one page or less (12 points, double-spaced). Audio or video submissions should be a maximum of 3 minutes. (Audio or video recording on cell phone is acceptable.) Audio or video recordings must include a written submission of the poem as well.
Art: Any form of artistic expression is welcome and should be submitted in .pdf or jpeg. format.  If you select to submit an image, we will select a poem to pair it with for presentation on our website.


Submissions will close on February 3, 2019. All submitted materials will be reviewed and subject to approval before posting on our website. We will display all approved poems and images on our webpage to share hope.  Each participant is permitted to submit one entry. Submit your entry at   Poetry and art may be selected to share in print, on OMF's social media pages, or other marketing materials.

One original poem* written by a person between the age of 14-26 and one written by an adult will be selected to be transformed into a ‘song’ that will be presented during "May Momentum." (*Original poem is written by the author not the work of someone else. Prior publication on a blog or forum is acceptable.)

Vote for Your Favorite Poems

Be a part of selecting the winning poems. Visit the View All Submissions page and vote for the poem that most inspires you. You can vote for as many poems as you choose, but only one vote per person per poem. Voting closes on March 1. The top 5 poems in each category will be reviewed by a panel of judges (persons affected with ME/CFS and parents) to select the final winners. Winners will be notified by email.

We look forward to seeing and hearing your words of inspiration!

Poetry Slam

To best understand how to write slam poetry, please watch any of the following links:

These two videos are good examples of how a finished slam poem sounds

What Will You Do?

What will you do,
when shiny and new?
Your lottery win,
that is overdue.
Who will you tell?
and how will you act?
When a magic pill,
transforms you back.
Will you rise from your bed?
and jump for joy?
One hundred times?
like a windup toy?
Will you run up the stairs,
Just because you can?
And overtake,
and old aged man?
Will you see your GP,
and laugh in his face?
Challenging him,
to a three legged race?
When he loses bad,
will you look in his eyes
and suggest to him…
Graded exercise!

Award Season

By Maija Haavisto

glossy magazines tout hottest pajama looks
palest facial tones untouched by the savage sun
sexiest sunglasses to match your pillowcase
most stunning impressions left on the mattress

posh ceremonies honor toes touching the floor
heroic ventures to the bathroom
the superhuman strength needed to chew food
best attempts to leave the house
words laboriously uttered: one, two, three
no, that’s enough, please stop, don’t wear yourself out

empty chairs at gala dinners hosting only we’re-there-in-spirits
my cheek caressing the red carpet of the so-called living room

would you spoon more smoothie in my mouth, my darling
I swear the bits of kale taste like finest chocolates in my dreams
next year, every year, in my dreams
I will win the trophy for finest daydreams
moved to tears in my whispered speech
I picture you gently picking kale bits
stuck between my teeth

Even Though

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.

Hope is Not Fragile

By Anonymous

Hope is not as fragile as it seems.
It does not have the solidarity of certainty,
But it has the steely resolve
To look ahead and see our dreams.

Hope may flutter like feathers in our chest.
But it is a platform of courage
And though it may tremble
It provides comfort and rest.

Hope helps us to continue to see
The dreams and goals we have made.
It keeps us present and aware
So they do not fade, nor will we.


There is beauty in solitude.
Yet, also loneliness.
I am confined by four walls
Unable to escape.

Sunlight streaks through the window,
But I cannot feel its warmth.
Only the cool breeze of missed opportunity.
The light fades revealing another lost day.

Others stop by to listen in,
Staring at my curiosities.
Eventually they must leave.
I am forbidden to follow.

Each day ends with disappointment,
As I drift off into the nothingness of sleep.
Each day begins with sadness,
As I face the solitude once more.



Thank You OMF

I venture out into the sunlit day
pink lipstick, dangling earrings, bright smile
too soon my head hammers, eyes burn, muscles ache
I stagger back to bed dazzled by my brief
encounter with the uncommon world
i am no longer the lonesome warrior
struggling in a war I cannot win
looked on with disdain and doubt
feeling shamed by disbelief

how can I begin to tell you
how it feels to know that now
there is a longed for hopeful future
just within our reach

Mixed Media Angel

By Lilli Day Chronic illness has taken a lot away from me over the years including my art. I started this art journal several years ago thinking I would fill its pages in a year. Three years later I still have some blank pages left but I keep trying. Trying to hold on to that […]



Birds of Imprisonment

By Liana C. Di Marco

birds of imprisonment

i think about my dreams of yesterday
and i wonder if they’re worth the price i pay
all i can say is that life’s a dismay

chorus birds of imprisonment
wanting to fly high up in the sky
spreading our wings wide and free

free to find a dream
light a share and knowledge
of peace, love and equality

free to speak our will
darkness is bright
i see the light flicker way beyond

i hear the call of truth
i feel my destiny
i’m blind to reality
i’m blind to reality

let us fly towards our dreams
don’t cage us with your choices
don’t cage us with your choices
don’t cage us with your choices


let us fly toward a new future
don’t feed us to the lions
we can’t help loving love
we can’t help loving love
we can’t help loving love
for what it is


Terms of Use

Lev Leytzan (non-profit) & Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) are pleased to provide you with “Hope & Heart Unite for ME/CFS” for your personal inspiration. Nothing on this blog constitutes a recommendation for medical treatment or care. Lev Leytzan and OMF have the exclusive right to decline any portion of, or complete, submission.  By submission of work, you agree to the following statement:

I agree that by submitting my original work (which may be in the form of a poetry, artwork, stories, photography or other content) (the “Work”), in consideration for the opportunity, but not the obligation, for the Work to be included in OMF and Lev Leytzan’s online and other social media and related outlets and in any other form of media.  I understand and agree that OMF and Lev Leytzan shall have the full right and non-exclusive lifetime license to use the Work, in any media, on a royalty-free basis, alone and in combination with other works, and to modify or edit the Work for editorial purposes at OMF's and Lev Leytzan’s discretion. If under the age of 18, permission from a parent or guardian to participate is granted.