Featured Poem: Self-Portrait in Time

By Dean Rader

Black bell, ring the blue boat
of my bones back to the beach
of this world, make me an ear
so that I might hear the sound

from the deepest, make me
a mouth—don’t let me drown—
don’t let me sink the way lives
sink, the way the dead drop into
the endless hum of the end
as when the wind rends the rake—
make me bend the way notes bend,
the way waves blend into the long
crash of the last song, the way
the body bows to the blur of sea and air.

Featured Poem: Frost on Fire

By Dean Rader

Something that melts can also burn, like a
Thicket of ice in the pond, the cold net
Of stars, even the hard white ax of the
Heart. A man can freeze without getting wet

Just as he can lose without being lost,
But winter finds everyone, even though
We spend our whole life eluding it. Frost
Reminds us of what is to come—the snow,

the sky, the trees, the skin, the sleet, the sleep.
How often have I woken in fear, blind
In my unknowing? The woods are dark and deep,
Even in the day; still the mind will find
Its way into the light, into the bright
Thaw of this life, where we, both flake and flame,
Fire and fall through. Let sun daze, let night
Show day how to blaze, let death drop its name.

Featured Poem: Self-Portrait With Obfuscation

By Dean Rader

The trees turn
in the evening air

from black to blacker
even though the moon’s

tiny headlamp lumbers
along through the dark
shaft of the sky’s deep
mine. Twilight, strangely
dull, climbs into its
train and chugs back
to the surface where
everything goes on
as before. How does
something acquire
luminous meaning?
How does anything
not happen? What men
in another age called
revelation is blurring
at the edges. Nothing
is clearer than that
which obstructs us.
I’m tired of description
the way I’m tired of
possibility. I want
the light on the other
side of the light.
I want the dark
the darkness darkens.