Keeper of the Shrines

By Marinella Proença

Two poems

Keeper of the Shrines                     

What yanks him from a cozy bed
What harkens him before the red
Ball peeps: wakes up from sleep
To scatter light from antiquity

He starts anew - each morn of dew
From grotto to grove, symbol to stone
He moves alone
Lost- in his own obscurity

He tidies up each temple to Him
No thought to fences and links;
Cups match to light the lamp within,
Incense … to curse profanity

When he is done rays from ol’ sun
Slant through to reach each Shrine
Effervescence: of light and scents
Domes spirits of Divinity


I love my red earth
But not as an empty scape:
Terrace upon terrace
Undulating -
No sprouting seed
No dewdrop plea
To roll down any- green
No blade of grass;
Unseen …
On a land that bleeds
Stubborn and profuse
No tourniquet … no use
When greed smothers all
When social animals recoil
Into beasts
I love my red earth
But not as an empty scape:
No love, no life
Just dark as night
No celebration of creation
No love, no betrothed
No explosions
Through prisms all loaded
With hues, encoded -
From the beginnings of Time

No ...
Just red earth ... bleeding with hurt

Banner image of Buddhist shrine in Vietnam courtesy of Wikipedia.

Marinella Proença resides in Calangute, Goa, the village which inspired her first book of poetry Heart Beat: Poems Awakening Goan Memories, (2008; Goa). It was released by the acclaimed artist, Mario Miranda, who also provided illustrations for the book. In 2008, Marinella was invited to release the book the Goan Association in Canada, at the Global Goan Convention. It was introduced in London at a launch hosted by Betty Pires. The book has had a successful run, and it has been catalogued by 11 American Universities including Yale and Cornell, and it also sits on the shelves of The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.