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Submission to the Asklepios Agon

For Asklepios
By Alexeigynaix

In days of old, Asklepios,
we left for You our offerings:
a votive sculpture—eyes, a leg—
in thanks for Your kind healing and
Your answers to our pleading prayers.

Asklepios, Physician, You
Who Heal all those in need of You:
I hurt, and hurt, and don’t know why.
You guided those who found the drug
called ibuprofen in results
of sugar degradation. You
have thereby somewhat eased my pain.

I hurt, and hurt, and don’t know why.
I ask, Asklepios, that You
find me something—anything—
to further ease and soothe the pain.

Look here: I pour to you red wine,
and coffee mixed with chocolate milk.

I have no skill in molding clay;
I know no potter who might make
a votive sculpture I could buy
to offer at Your temple door.

My skill with pencil coloring
needs work, but here it is. I vow
an offering: I’ll draw myself
to offer at Your temple door—
for if you find a way to bring
my usual pain from five or six
with spikes to seven, eight, or nine
down to a four or (please!) a three
and hardly ever spiking six
(for I cannot recall, just now,
what none or one, or even two,
feel like; I’ve never felt a ten,
for which, Asklepios, thank You),
you will have given back to me
myself.

Modern Asklepios

Submission to Asklepios’ Agon

To Asklepios
by Emily K., MD

Hail to You, Asklepios,
Still honored today.
Master of medicines.
Surgeon with skillful hand.
Healer of the mind at peace.

You had several shrines downtown in the city where I trained.
Tall tower hospitals lined the road from the harbor to the parliament.
Here is a shrine to the nurses who died in the Great War.
The men who cured honey-urine disease did so in these laboratories
Your own image was carved in stone above the hospital doors;
Apollon introducing You to Chiron
Money and power have changed the temples’ faces now, but the hospitals remain.
Your memorials and art are all carefully preserved.
Except one votive plea, which was discarded;
“Hospital Zone- Quiet” it read in black-on-yellow sign letters.
I last saw it perched above a worker jackhammering by the subway vent.
Sleep and dream attended Your temples in the old days
We have forgotten that.

Hail to You, Asklepios,
Still honored today.
Master of medicines.
Surgeon with skillful hand.
Healer of the mind at peace.

Quiet green trees surrounded the place where supplicants sought You
Neither Birth nor Death made a home there,
For You suffered greatly both to be born and then again to die.
Your father God brought You into life through burning flesh and brilliant fire.
You are your mother’s son too;
Coronis knew Apollon’s holiest light, yet still sought comfort with dim mortal love.
Apollon inflamed her with death and fire till at last she glowed like a goddess,
Though He rescued You before her white wings crisped to blackened ash.

Your death too, was all noise and blinding light; a thunderbolt from Zeus.
You knew the price of stealing souls back from Hades.
Yet You pitied us and brought back the mourned-for dead, easing for a while the bitterness of mortal grief.
Sympathy for the weak and merely mortal is the gift Coronis gave You.

Hail to You, Asklepios
Still honored today
Master of medicines.
Surgeon with skillful hand.
Healer of the mind at peace.

You took Your lessons from Chiron the centaur.
Chiron taught you pharmacy;
The Gorgon’s blood breeds serpents.
These bring You herbs to poison or to cure, as Your staff directs.
Chiron taught you surgery;
The deft touch that cures is Yours, to cut the sinew space apart and leave the living blood and fine filaments of sense intact.
Chiron taught you therapy;
Man is mind and animal all bound up in one;
Who better than a centaur to teach you that?
Your words brought peace to suffering souls
You gave the best sleep and healing dreams
The body healed soon after.

Hail to You, Asklepios,
Still honored today.
Master of medicines.
Surgeon with skillful hand.
Healer of the mind at peace.

Your sons were Therapeutae in your line;
Highly honoured Machaon, Podaleirios and Telesphoros.
Your wife and daughters too were blessed with skill.
I am glad to follow in their footsteps.
Epione, your beloved wife, who soothes away suffering.
Aceso, who walks alongside the patient in their journey.
Iaso, who restores to strength and function.
Aglaea, who adorns the body once more with beauty.
Hygeia, who makes whole and clean.
Panacea, who cures all ills.

I don’t practice near Your tall towered temples in the city far away.
I have a few beds in a hospital out in the country,
A few days a week dedicated to Your service.
Still, God of Physicians, teach me a little of Your skill.
Even a little of Your quiet
Someday I will need Your help; may I find You in the care I will receive.

Let me remember the words You taught me;
Who bears the serpent, serves.

Hail to You, Asklepios,
Still honored today.
Master of medicines.
Surgeon with skillful hand.
Healer of the mind at peace.

Submission to the Asklepios Agon

To Asclepius
by Courtney B.

The dead rise to His staff,
Great Nurturer and Restorer of Life.
Yellow sunlight shines from His eyes.
The light of life is inside Him.
Graceful son of Apollo, merciful Staff Bearer,
You hear the cries of the sick and the dying;
You bring the sick back from the brink of the black Beyond.
You taught man the healing secrets of the plants;
whispered the recipes of brews and potions to the kindly souls in Your service.
Your mercy is truly more than we deserve.
Cut From The Womb.
Snake-Stirrer!
Elegant emerald snakes adorn Your brow,
celestial yet present in every hospital and house of healing.
We pray You cut us open and cleanse us of miasma,
of hubris, of impiety, of atheism, of doubt.
Help us be the best devotees we can be.
Praise His Holy name: Asclepius!
Thank Him that you still breathe the sweet airs of life.

First Submission to the Asklepios Agon

Hurrah! I receive the first submission to Asklepios’ Agon and I am glad. I don’t think our healing Deities get half the attention and veneration They deserve. 🙂

In Gratitude
by Victoria C.

I am not accustomed to Gods being overly kind.
Loving yes, magnificent yes, but kind in a way
that does not sear the heart,
not so much.
I am not accustomed to Gods
Whose touch leaves no lasting mark
except health and healing and peace.
You brought me that, Son of Apollo,
unexpected boon and blessing.
You brought me that and raised me up
and set me back on my feet
and enabled me to live again
instead of just survive.
Yours were the hands
that dredged me out of the darkness
of my depression,
out of the wracking torture of my body’s pain.
‘Thank you’ are such paltry words
with which to repay such a grace.
They are the words that I have though,
and I bring them to You,
with a heart overflowing with joy.
I sing praises of You, Asklepios,
Wisest and most gentle of Healers.
To the Son of Apollo,
I will always pray.

*************

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Asklepios Novena Book Available

The novena booklet for Asklepios, “To Rejuvenate and Nourish: Nine Days of Prayer to Asklepios, God of Healing” is now available at createspace here.

I’m really pleased with this one, folks. It’s a small, pocket size prayer book and it looks really cool. I’m currently working on a similar prayer book to Eir. Stay tuned. 

Edit: I am offering 8 copies signed and with a prayer card of your choice for $10 plus $3 shipping and handling. contact me at krasskova at gmail.com if you want one.

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