Barbara Lydecker Crane

Rumi’s words (sometimes paraphrased) are from The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

With wine to whet his mystic lips, Rumi does not run out
of words. “Loosen your tongue. Don’t worry what comes out.”

He wiggles fingers in the air. “Don’t hand me another glass. 
Just pour it in my mouth.”  A guzzle helps his soul hum out,

“Having nothing produces provisions.” If only he would give
a hint of how to net a harvest when the tide of income’s out.

He tells of emptiness and patience, and whirling as one waits:
“Dance, when broken open.” I hear a mournful lute strum out.

“Sufism is the feeling of joy when sudden disappointment comes.”
I ask the man if Sufis ever sulk. Do they decree that glum is out?

Then Rumi chants his tale of how that joy ensued. “The prophet
Muhammad lost a boot. Understandably he was bummed out

“when an eagle swooped, plucked it from the ground and flew.
The boot turned upside-down in the air, and what tumbled out?

“A poisonous snake! God brings us disappointment to elude
disaster. Lift your glasses, Barb, and look! Humdrum’s out.”


BARBARA LYDECKER CRANE has published two chapbooks, Zero Gravitas and ALPHABETRICKS. Recent poems have appeared in Angle, Light, The Lyric, Rotary Dial and Think Journal.  She gives two reasons for her enjoyment of ghazal writing: she likes knowing where a line is headed, and she appreciates that both her first and last names have more than one meaning. “Lydecker" is not so lucky!