Westvision Gallery of Cynthia West

Shrine building is a way of participating with and celebrating just what is in a particular time and place. Shrines are vessels which both contain and offer prayers and thanksgiving.

Female Shrine

Female Shrine

It starts with a mesquite trunk jutting from the sand,
a fulcrum crazily tilted by wind and tide.
Worms tunnel that old thorn,
filagree inner skin, strip bark.
Branches write messages on sand.

I rake a spiral path from the central pole,
gather hunks of white coral worn by tides,
carefully fit them one after another around the trunk,
give thanks for the ocean pounding,
the green wind.

Every piece added lengthens a river winding
to join the sea.

I circle the white with black lava,
every one a dark passage pierced by stars.
A turtle hauling rocks,
I know the edges and the inside out.

Facing west to strong surf
I fill a bowl with water,
pour it on the stones.


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