Barbara Lydecker Crane

A Ghazal for the West of Ireland

High above a Dingle beach, on a green lea mound in Ireland,
wind and surf and a piper’s air are braiding sound. In Ireland,

pale sun dims as a damp breeze freshens over the abandoned
Blasket Islands. I shiver to picture the drowned in Ireland.

Ancients, lured by fish and lashed by storms, built clochán,
little dry-wall homes of stone, bee-hive round, in Ireland.

They’re standing still. The Irish haven’t dared disturb them:
pagan fairies hold the huts sacrosanct, spellbound in Ireland.

A farmer tells me he “doesn’t believe in fairies, yet they’re
there.” So he preserves this common ground. In Ireland,

spells of weather shift like sleight of hand or sleight of feet…
a quick-kicking, soft-shoe step dance, renowned in Ireland.

The hard-shoe dance in Donegal, with stony plates on shoes
striking floors like whips, makes my heart pound in Ireland.

Staccato cracks of steppers’ feet, fiddlers’ jigs, cries of gulls
and wash of sea weave an air to woo me. I’ve found Ireland.


Barbara Lydecker Crane has published two chapbooks, Zero Gravitas and Alphabetricks. A third, BackWords Logic, is due out very soon.  Recent poems have appeared in Light, The Lyric, and Think Journal. She gives two reasons for enjoying ghazal writing:  knowing where a line is headed, and playing with the multiple meanings of both her first and last names.