Zero to Hero: Day 19

Day 19: publish a post using a format you’ve never used before.

…from a graduation address to the medical class of 2002…

A Way of Life

A ferry carries us across
The sea of time to ancient Kos
Where high upon a hill we stand
And feel the touch of history’s hand.

Kos i

For here it was our Art began
With words of wisdom from one man,
And still today by him we’re taught
That Art is long and Life is short.

“Vita brevis, Ars longa”

And, too, that Art has factors three,
A paradigm of simplicity,
The patient, the doctor and the disease,
That man, of course, Hippocrates.


A man whose oath recited still
Echoes from that sacred hill
Where trees and pillars standing tall
Can be as symbols for us all.

Kos iv

Ethics, truth, integrity,
Compassion, trust, humility.
A way of life for us to follow
From this Temple of Apollo.

Kos iii

I wish you well this special day
And hope that we will often meet.
Think sometimes on these words, p’rhaps wise
And, look for blossoms at your feet.


The photographs are from the Asklepion on the Island of Kos, birthplace of Hippocrates. The quotation between the second and third verse is the opening to the first aphorism of Hippocrates: “Vita brevis, ars longa.” The last line of the poem is inspired by one of my favourite quotations and written by Dr. Albert Schweitzer, “In the hope of reaching the moon we fail to see the flowers that blossom at our feet”….


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