Dustin Pickering Debuts

At Birth   

Look at the blank canvas again.

Is it truly blank?

Or has your gaze burned a passionate desire?


I see the wind gesturing, and heat following

the same spirit.

Your hand is a conduit of God,

telling the world the names of all of your children.


At birth, I was set apart

from others for a reason hidden from me.

They were mean, they confused me and sent me

back to the sky where worlds are born.


I am a world. Orbiting the body of the storm,

I am dizzied by counter motions.

Yet smiles are symbols of strength.

I will dream even if others awaken me.

I hide my face like the dark moon hid from us

because we smiled and knew ourselves rich.


The Canon 


We are together, passing the night

like strangers wildly apart,

I want to bring you roses

and dream the misty sea.


I, emboldened, touch your face

and a prayer flees

into the silence

like a planet in creative motion.


I am this planet, losing my drift

and drafted for a new purpose—

I don’t know the sky or star

except as a bridge to You.


Script as timeless meditation, memory.

This sweet moment is my heart’s kiss,

vainly striding like poison in a cell.

I announce myself to you, unknown,


and You address me in words from the canon.



Often Forgotten 


Love, I say, take what you will.

Your bow is broken

as hearts after your initial thrust.


I am empty. Take back

what you gave.

Make me a slave.


I will not worry. My heart

is emptying into the darkness

and is filling the universe with light.


Rhymes are echoes, each its own verb—

my actions have become limited

and have led to senseless struggle.


Weighty indifference has made me cynical.

But I throw my heart at your door, Sasha,

and hope someone will knock and you will find.


I am shy. I speak my intentions flat,

and devote these symbols to your eyes.

So much love in our paradise that it is often forgotten.


Dustin Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press, a poetry publishing company responsible for Harbinger Asylum, nominated as best poetry magazine in 2013 by the National Poetry Awards. He is published at Seltzer, Lost Coast Review, di-verse-city 2013 and 2015, and Muse for Women’s anthology released in 2012, among others. In his spare time, he organizes events as fundraisers.


Editor-in-Chief of Harbinger Asylum

and founder of Transcendent Zero Press,




About vision791

Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published thirteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at www.hamptonroadswriters.org
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