Indiana University Bloomington

The One in the Water

Sea Wave Black And White Surface History Water

Caleb Shriner, Religious Studies and India Studies

Beneath a cross, some splash in holy water
Like birds in a birdbath.
In saffron robes, some dunk in sacred rivers
Like kids on a hot day.

Mercy! Mercy!
Have you ever seen such mercy?
All this wrongdoing goes someplace else.

What if we took that river
And mixed it up with the holy water?
What if we took that water
And mixed it up with the sacred river?

Mercy! Mercy!
Do you think we could spot the difference?
Something tells me no.

They’re both water
And they drink just the same.
They’ll slake our thirst
And we’ll piss it out
And we won’t know one from the other.

Because there never was another.

Mercy! Mercy!
There’s just the water
And the One who lives inside it.

Where did all that wrongdoing go?

Hamsha says:
The place where the still waters meet
Is where the soul learns to dream of Mercy.
But getting there means swimming a current
That aches and waits for you to drown.


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