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Where Else?

John EtheridgeJohn EtheridgeWhere else but into the sea
The place where he had swum so deep, so often before?
Where else but into its depths, its mysterious, wonderful depths
Where the water is so black that it has turned into ink and only the heart can see?
Where else but back, back to the light waiting for him there, waiting at the end?
There—yes—there into that ocean, that swimmer, that leviathan,
That siren upon the rocks of Akká went.
Where else?

O swimmer!
Did you stand upon that rocky shore and count your forty waves?
Did you stop to pray at the last once more, ever the only pilgrim?
Did you mend the halves of your heart as the water grew ever warmer?
O swimmer!
As you sought the depths—was it despair, or was it something sweeter?

O Beloved! What sin of mine can exceed the Ocean of Thy Mercy?

by John Etheridge

Dedicated to Nabil-i-Zarandi, author of The Dawn-Breakers, who, in Shoghi Effendi‟s words from God Passes By was, “Bahá'u'lláh‟s „Poet-Laureate, His chronicler and His indefatigable disciple.‟ ” Shortly after the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, Nabil, stricken with despair and inconsolable over the loss of his Beloved, drowned himself.

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