Mother (Photo credit: racineur)

tending the garden
of her daughter’s hair
she hums a music box tune
and spins it into gold in the lamplight


her hands are soft
as she smoothes the wrinkles
from her mother’s hands
starched from holding the sheets too hard

countless rains
on her ironed blouse
water the roots
that keep her daughter close

oh mother
let me take the bags
from your shoulders
and take my hand in yours

i can carry enough for the both of us now

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HMCS Huron

Sunken sailing ships

Sunken sailing ships (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

I will break the face of my compass
and set the needle
I will align my sexton
with the sun
and stare until my eyes
turn to dust
o merry dust
blown into the waves
and let the shadows steer this wreck
for I have cut the line
to the rudder
and let the tides sink my ship
when it is my time
this merry old dust
and her stalwart tub
let me sink with my colours high

© christine DINGLEY 2012

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it’s a curious mixture
of melting hail and freezing rain
so distinctly Canadian
that makes waiting for the 96
horrendous, in a word.
to get there
my boots become covered
in salty sandy slush
the colour of rainy days
and toxic slurry
only it glows a little less
and there’s no chance of accidental superpowers.
i take a window seat.
someone sits next to me who could be
either another student
a wanna be hipster
someone born without taste
or maybe an inter-dimensional time traveller.
i think i’ll start reading now.
i only have an hour and
a quarter to my stop.

© christine DINGLEY 2011


I feel the rhythm in my neck
my chest my thighs my wrists
the rush of haemoglobin
the pressure of plasma
in my brain

Oh life!
I live on a tide of oxygen
brushing through my veins
defying gravity
rushing out at incredible speed
to my lips
the tiny pools in my fingertips
oceans in my feet
the water tower in my brain

Love collects
in the atrium
slithers and waits in the ventricle
for a mighty push
back out again
to pick up the fire in my lungs
the notes encoded in my brain
(love letters, wonderment, defeat)
the great red telegraph

I listen to my life at rest
never truly resting
dancing to its own beat
I dance with my pulse


© christine DINGLEY 2011

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I listen for a heartbeat
in the jade-green vein,
touch it through the shifting
skin of rhombus glass
that catches the sun.

I listen for a heartbeat
in her ancient bones,
the copper and olive age spots
flake under my touch
and smells of damp.

I listen for a heartbeat
in the fresh-washed body,
the black velvet wrinkling folds mould
around my fingertips
and broken tree nails.

I listen for a heartbeat
in the creaking sinews,
groaning as she breathes a sigh
of a thousand symbols
green-gold above me.

I listen for a heartbeat
in her daily musings,
the chittering of squirrels and
the stuttered rapping
of woodpeckers.

I listen for her heartbeat
in her blushing face,
I light a dancing fire to warm her
she dresses in her finest
jewels and perfume.

I listen for her heartbeat
in the fire
in the moon
in the dark
in the loon
that swims in the river roots that pass me by.

She beats
in my blood.

© christine DINGLEY 2011