Barbara Lydecker Crane

Frank Lee

He used to be a decent back-up date,
but I hated how he'd rank each dish in chic
bistros (his treat). "This sushi eel's an eight
if on a scale of twenty." Tongue in cheek,
Frank was not. "Those heels are pretty awful,"
he let me know at my corporate gala dinner.
"On sale at Saks," I muttered through a jaw-full.
Frank just shrugged. "You won't get any thinner,"
he announced, "downing that brioche--
your third?" His lips were curled in attitude.
"The way you criticize your friends is gauche,"
I blurted. "Frank, I have to say, you're rude."
When he drawled back, "It's just the way I am,"
I left. "Frank Lee, my dear, I don't give a damn."


We gently blew each liquid sphere
and gaped to see the single, double
globes alight on branches. Sheer

membranes meeting roughened bark
didn't burst upon that stubble.
No stir of breeze in leaden park,

the air oppressive as a wringer--
that morning had portended trouble.
But still we watched the magic linger.

The dogwood shimmered with its trim,
each breath an iridescent bubble.
We children circled in a rim

for time untold until at last
our magic popped into a puddle
and entered, as it must, the past.


Barbara Lydecker Crane has published two collections, Zero Gravitas (White Violet Press, 2012) and ALPHABETRICKS (for children, Daffydowndilly Press, 2013). In the U.S., her poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Comstock Review, Light Quarterly, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin; in the U.K., in Angle, The Flea, Magma, and 14 by 14; and in eight anthologies.


Melissa Balmain
Judith Barrington
Meredith Bergmann
Jane Blanchard
Cally Conan-Davies
Barbara Lydecker Crane
Mary Cresswell
Rebekah Curry
Anna Evans
Marcene Gandolfo
Claudia Gary
Gwen Hart
A. J. Huffman
Kathryn Jacobs
Geneva Kachman
Joan Mazza
Susan McLean
Sally Nacker
Janice D. Soderling
A. M. Thompson
Cara Valle
Marly Youmans
Seree Zohar


>We are pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Thompson is the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and Wendy Sloan is the recipient of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project scholarship.

Judith Schaecter: I found the beauty of stained glass to be the perfect counterpoint to ugly and difficult subjects. Although the figures I work with are supposed to be ordinary people doing ordinary things, I see them as having much in common with the old medieval windows of saints and martyrs. They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy.

My work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful--say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality or nerve wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to look at. I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling ones feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.

I would describe my process as derived almost entirely from traditional techniques in use for centuries. The imagery is predominantly engraved into layers of glass; only the black and yellow are painted and fired on in a kiln. The pieces are soldered together in a copperfoil and lead matrix.
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