Driving research of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS),
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), and Fibromyalgia.

Hope & Heart Unite for ME/CFS

PoetryOMF

First Hope & Heart Unite for ME/CFS

Poetry & Art Slam

Your words help increase awareness and strengthen our community.

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 an entry. You have truly touched the hearts of our community 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.

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.

Poetry is a form of art used to express ideas, feelings, and messages. We invited 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 Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS). Thank you to all who participated with your word expression and art, sharing your dreams for a healthier tomorrow.

Keeping the Hope - An Original Song of Hope by Maxwell Elefant and 95North

Come Home

By Valerie Taresh

When I thought the world was
all outside
I needed to be out of there
please just give me the chance
And see it from my side.
All I need is to be on my own
to go out there- to at least try.
I’ll call ; I’ll come home.
I promise
I’ll try.

I had mountains to conquer that
Became small hills.
I was too busy going nowhere forgotten dreams now only in clouds
Going everywhere
too fast
What next – what’s first
Too short to last

I ran so fast so far
alone
Just how I wanted life to be
The memories I made
weren’t memorable I suppose
Faded before they got to me.
So many things to do
What can wait – what’s last
What doesn’t need done?
I’ll go, I’ll see or I’ll do those things
As soon as I’m a bit more free.
I promise.

Now the house is too big
It takes awhile
to get from here to there
I often have to wait just one,
just two, wait- oh Lord, please
help me to the chair.

Oh God can’t you see my side;
I haven’t done it all.
I haven’t seen my kids enough,
I’ve children yet to spoil.
I always thought i could stall
for time before
my name was called.

My world grows smaller with
every dawn, the veil is draping low.
I’ll stay just a little while more;
I know it’s time to go.

I’ll be okay – I’ll be right there,
I’ve to finish the unsaid and undone.,
My memories left in loves on earth
My heart to my daughter and sons

May my life be a lesson for my earthly clan.
Don’t hurry, don’t worry, trust wholly
that in infinity –
There exists a Divine plan.
I promise.

LOST

By Carol Hale

As sleep eludes me my mind flips and flops around like a fish out of water.

I swim again through the troubled waters of my life

Looking at snippets and snags of problems over which I worry.

So many could have beens, should have beens and would have beens

Want to be, must try harder to be, will I ever be again?

Where did I go?

I sank alone and unwillingly down so deep, so slow, so long – long years I cannot remember all.

Why can’t I find me now?

I had known my name, how hard the game and exactly how to play it

But the rules have changed, remaining hidden

Only to surface suddenly and swiftly pull me under without warning again and again.

This seaweed of illness in which I have become entangled

Makes meaningful life almost impossible.

i’ve lost myself. Who am I now?

Am I nothing more than an insignificant speck floating in the endless rippling oceans of the cosmos?

Elisa

By Anonymous

In honor of a friend with ME / CFS

Rebel!

I am a health rebel —
What does the earth ask of me
Today?
Breathing in — Alignment,
Breathing out — Allegiance,
That is all.

The ache

By Anonymous

The ache of missing out on laughter filled games at Christmas
And still waking up with a body full of pain
despite the one item on my wish list
I miss walking with a clear head and clean hair
And not stumbling over words
and mixing where with were or there with their
God fair is fair
I cannot stare at this screen another day and keep my hair
Remember when I fell ill the despair
The sky was grey but glared too brightly at me
My eyes wouldn’t let me look any higher than the bare brown trees
Too hot but cold, sweating, shaking
Sobbing quietly like the muffled bird song losing all control
My whole body craves just to feel normal
My faith began to crumble, like a sand castle in stormy weather
I was more alone than ever
I prayed and prayed towards the highest clouds but never got sent anything
Until a soft scratching at my soul showed me the many things that I’m blessed with
Two thousand days of suffering but my families love is endless
I hope one day soon someone will finally put an end to this

A Soft Place to Land

By: Avy Summerlind(Lyric Video)https://www.omf.ngo/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/A-Soft-Place-to-Land-lyric-video-by-Avy-Summerlind.mp4

I have M.E but will not let it define me…

By Collette Wallace

I have M.E…

I aim for it not to define me
and be all people see

I love socialising
Find traveling mesmerising
I loved working with multiple brands
And seeing live bands

I am now mainly bedbound on my own
But my love for my interests has only grown
They will always be part of me
And I will not solely be defined with M.E

Despite being constantly ill
Always wishing for a magic pill
I strive to work through the pain
And learn to dance in the rain

Be kind to yourself each day
Push the frustration away
Make a positive mantra & repeat it
To help strong mental health & keep it

Fight feeling down
Reverse that frown
Don’t shed a tear
Smile ear to ear

Keep your head up high
Look at the beautiful sky
Not today, go away,
tomorrow is new start to the day

Ignore friends that dropped you fast 
Hold close kind friends that tightened their clasp
It feels like there is no end in sight
But please like me never give up the fight

A Song for ME

By Andy Rees

Where is the one who knew no boundaries?
Where are the days spent running free?
Where now the stamina that’s failing to spring afresh inside of me?
Down in the west, those days have all gone.
Out like the tide with little trace.
Sleeping for now under a blanket – yet still they fight to show their face.

Not to be beaten by the hurting.
Not to be crushed by loss, or grief.
Not by the disillusionment and anger at those with disbelief.
Faithful and strong, hope keeps returning.
Never be broken, heart of mine!
Even if all is lost, and hope itself – still I choose not to resign.

There is much more to life than doing.
There still are other ways to be.
There are new battles worth the winning, before they put an end to me.
Do not be scared by seeming mountains.
Laugh at the fates, that show no care.
Remain yourself, in smaller portions – you can still reach that top-most stair!

If somehow you can be contented.
If you can learn to take small strides.
If you can pace yourself and not be caught up in life’s remorseless tides.
You will still have the strength to be you.
Some of the time your star can shine.
You will have gained so much by learning just what to do with precious time.

How many people know their true friends?
How many get to live two lives?
How many know they have the inner strength to endure all, and to thrive?
Confidence needn’t be diminished.
Wisdom and patience never die.
Humour, and love, and understanding, are still the standards we live by.

Wren

N/A

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.

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.

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