Barbara Lydecker Crane

At Meadowbreeze Manor

I'm mad today but I can't tell you why.
I eat the meals but I am far from fine
lying here as nights and days blur by.

For supper I might bake a berry pie.
Why do these people say I'm ninety-nine?
What madness! Now I cannot tell you why

I'm here. I want a ceiling of blue sky
and forest walls. I want the scent of pine
as winter days and nights are blurring by.

It's June, you say? I'll catch a firefly,
a rose bouquet. Where's my Valentine?
I'm mad today and I can tell you why—

he kissed my sister Fran the Fourth of July—
I saw her eyes blazing blue at mine.
That daylit night is always blurring by.

Is supper on this tray, and berry pie?
I hope you'll come back soon. I hate to whine
but I am mad, and I can't tell you why
I lie here as the days and nights blur by.

Measuring Grief

After Emily Dickinson

She measures every Grief she meets
upon her pocket scale.
Each weight is lighter than her own—
No Wan's beyond her pale.

She questions how much time has passed
since someone's Sadness started.
That time is never near as long
as hers—since Dear Departed.

She presses. Do they keen at night
with long, lamenting Cries?
Some mourners do exaggerate—
she notes evasive eyes.

It's painful pleasure, shining dark—
both Haven and Abyss—
no grief can top her own black mine
of sorrow, secret Bliss.


Barbara Lydecker Crane has published three chapbooks, Zero Gravitas (White Violet Press, 2012), Alphabetricks (for children, Daffydowndilly Press, 2013), and BackWords Logic (Local Gems Press, 2017). She has won the Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest, the Humor Award and a Laureate's Choice Award in the Maria Faust Sonnet Contest, and was a Finalist for the Rattle Readers' Choice Award. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Atlanta Review, First Things, Light, Measure and Think Journal, among many others, and in several anthologies. She is also a visual artist.


Michelle Blake
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Barbara Lydecker Crane
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The most recent addition to The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline is Louise Erdrich by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell.

Charlotte Innes was the recipient of the 2018 Mezzo Cammin Scholarship to the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Megan Marlatt:Looking like large puppet heads, it was "anima", the root of "animation", that led me to the making of the big heads, (or "capgrossos" as they are called in Catalonia where I learned the craft.) Anima is the soul or what breathes life into a being and to animate an inanimate object, an artist must insert a little soul into it. However to bring attention to what is invisible, (the soul), I chose to mold its opposite in solid form: the persona, the ego, the big head, the mask. Nearly every culture across the globe has masks. They allow performers to climb into the skin of another being and witness the other's world from behind their eyes. While doing so, the mask erases all clues of the performer's age, gender, species or race. In this regard, I find them to be the most transformative and empathic of all human artifacts.

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