Healing service

Stand on hallowed ground
To Apollo Asklepios,
God of healing and wholeness,
Where men attributed medical skills
To the gift of a compassionate god,
In a cradle of civilisation.

Hostel rooms near the gym,
Health spa and temple baths
Were easily had and eagerly sought
At Epidauros,
Healing site for the halt and weary.
Pray for your aching limbs!
Enjoy rest and relief, restorative sleeping!
Let Aesklepion acolytes explore
Your brokenness
With their intuition and surgical skills!

Hostel room: Carpeted now
With sweet scented camomile.
Speedwell and campanula
Garland its tumbled walls.
Shall we choose, my love,
Where to have our lunch
Apart from the clatter
Of the tourist throng?

Was this the doorstep we crossed
When seeking relief for your stiffening joints,
And there the bed,
Now spread with purple vetch?
And where did we pray
For divine guided healing?

As we sat in a corner of that balmy place
On the fallen stones of a hostel room,
Shaded by sweet smelling pines,
A sense of peace and restorative resting
Joined us and encircled us,
Quieted us with its healing.

Hugh Busher, Greece - April 2002

St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 7th November 2002