Barbara Lydecker Crane 

I can't tell you what they have found, but they think it is something precious. I wonder if it is?

Emily Dickinson, in a letter about the religious conversion of many of her friends

Does the spirit choose you, or do you choose it?
Either way, nourish it with laughter. Amuse it!

The bank president pursues a soul ownership;
religious interest compounds as he accrues it.

To the cook, soul is just more food for thought.
She salts it away in her brain, then barbecues it.

Stirring up spirits in bottles and vats, a distiller 
pours himself into into his work and brews it.

A batik artist swirls her awe of Northern Lights
in violet and electric blue, dyeing to transfuse it.

A jazz drummer feels a soulful, surging rhythm
and on his snare behind the band he tattoos it.

When she receives a blessing, the proofreader
always suspects a mistake and must peruse it. 

Attacked by a bear, an atheist blurts a prayer,
and then with Herculean effort he subdues it.

Even when it rains one calamity after another,
a faithful elder raises an umbrella to excuse it.

She knows a communion wafer should dissolve
in the mouth, but an impish goddess chews it.

Impish God eschews it, the divine truth we seek,
theologians sigh. It’s in how each construes it.

Do you commune with it, this mystery of Spirit?
A Crane tilts back her head to whoop, Who’s It?


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!