by Jim Milstead

Candles dapple
brown parquet
with light.

Beguiled by contradiction,
uncertain of purpose,
I begin again.

Disregarding old dogmas
of deception, I move
upon a carpet of roses,
pause in mid orbit
upon a pathway
where smiles await me.
I move cautiously,
allow my imagination
to strengthen itself.

At the edge, where patterns
end in uncertainty,
my anticipation grows.

Here, on this pilgrimage,
I circle my heart’s core,
explore the edges
of my mind’s circuitry,

parse my experience,
seek to find
in this universe
of white noise

a winter crystal
of silence.


JIM MILSTEAD was born in Chicago, IL, in 1927. At U.C. he began a career as a graduate student and Staff Research Associate in the Entomology department, completing a doctoral dissertation in 1977. During two leave of absence periods he began taking courses in English and creative writing, publishing 3 poems in an anthology of Underground Poetry in 1972. Retiring from U.C. he moved to Bellingham with his wife Mary, enrolled at Whatcom Community College, the Academy of Lifelong Learning, and joined the Personal Writing Group at the Bellingham Senior Activity Center. He is currently a member of Mary Gillilan’s Independent Writers, the Village Books Poetry Group, and routinely reads poetry and prose at open mic.


Photo: “Labyrinth” by Sonia Morgia