Microbial fantasia #3


Trio 2~

Tepid fleshed, soft and juicy.

we move through

the microbial stew


winged thoughts,

hearts that prism lightning


opposable dancing thumbs


“A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.”  – Marie Curie
“Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.” – William James
painting /collage and poem:  j h white



33 responses

  1. Apoptotic bodies give the thumbs up to this fantasia Jana, and to William James’ quote too, before waving goodbye to 25 billion deceased cells this day, and tomorrow, and tomorrow’s tomorrow. Where am I in all this, pray tell, or is the question wrongly put?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just saw this quote by Anais Nin….

      “I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.”

      As I was walking to pick up my grand daughter from preschool, I must have passed a fair cross section of humanity …. personal styles, life stages and income brackets in the lower ranges. It was an automatic impersonal scanning…all of us in our own worlds.

      I thought of your question Hariod and became aware of my conditioned response. Challenged….I let my body try to answer this question. I see all these people really were small worlds…as am I. So my small, complex world passed their complex world and I could swear…it made a discernible difference in our exchange.

      What had changed?! Now there’s my question…

      Liked by 3 people

      • An apposite quote, and just as with the body, the mind or character (I presume that’s what Anais Nin was referring to) is also an ephemeral flux – notin a flux, but flux itself. Our character reconstitutes similarly to as before, yet is not what was before. One thinks of old Heraclitus and his trope as to never being able to step into the same stream twice.

        Your anecdote about the school run gave me a shiver of delight Jana. Even when toying with these ideas of ‘no centre’, or ‘no self’, as objects in the mind and the musings of the intellect, they still possess an emotive power in the sensing of an exquisite absence – the tiresome burden of ‘me’. I’ve no idea if something similar was occurring for you in the scanning of others that you mention, though I can well appreciate that our state of mind alters any outward expressions of exchange – the ‘discernible difference’ you mention.

        And then there’s your question: what had changed? I can only speculate here as to your actual circumstance as described, though as we meet others beyond the inhabitation of our isolative self-consciousness, then so it is that this is sensed. As with much of the rest of the animal world, our sentience picks up and decodes signals that remain inaccessible to the ‘situation report’ that is our everyday, running awareness. The sensing of amity and fear produce sympathetic responses, initially at the level of feeling, which in turn then are fed into our aware reporting of ideas, our thoughts ‘about’ any encounter.

        Hariod. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hariod…sometimes you scare me…I mean this in a good way. My god you’re quick.

          So let’s say, since I’ve been there in that “place” or “state” I don’t know if I want to name/define it except perhaps expressed in art, metaphor or story…. And personally, since I’ve been there now, I can just go there. That’s why my body answers my questions. I have a better handle on working this way … then I can experience the answers.

          Of course, Hariod…we could have a much more fun time of playing with this, in person, microbe to microbe, over a cup of tea.

          Liked by 1 person

          • ‘. . . since I’ve been there now, I can just go there.’

            Yes. It’s not a memory, yet it’s intimate and familiar – right?

            ‘. . . in person, microbe to microbe, over a cup of tea.’

            Tea and fruitcake – a scary, nutty, H-shaped fruitcake!


            • Hmmm….I had to go swimming to consider this, Hariod. I think it is a memory. A body memory.

              I wonder that we might all ‘access’ this in our own unique variety of ways too.

              For me, it usually has to do with movement and complexity. I’m aware of all that’s moving within me, in every way…all the currents. I also feel all that’s moving around me. Somewhere in there… I’m there…in it all. Perceiving all of it. And it’s all moving, changing, becoming … with a rhythm … informing. Or something like this…

              We probably need more than a few cups of tea to play with this and compare notes. (But I really like trifle more than fruitcake)

              Jana xxoo

              Liked by 1 person

            • That is most interesting Jana. What you call a ‘body memory’ I have previously in my writing often called a ‘reminiscence’. I won’t bore you with all the detail, though I wanted some worded distinction between what I was describing – the certain ‘intimacy’ and ‘familiarity’ previously mentioned – and a conventional memory, which is a storable and retrievable representation of the mind. This ‘reminiscence’ is a kind of memory, though if we are talking about the same thing, then it’s not quite so readily accessed as a conventional memory. I actually have described it further as the body’s sentient system knowing itself as itself, as opposed to an image of itself, such as a mood or mental state. And oh, trifle, yes please Jana, made with your 6 fingers and 4 thumbs – my tepid tongue, now soft and juicy, with evil winged thoughts moves through the microbial custard, aiming straight for those inviting raspberries!

              Liked by 1 person

    • I love that Eric…the mind, the pump. The pump….!

      I’ve gotten used to “thinking” of my heart as having so many other jobs. Ayeee…time for me to pause and give thanks for my heart’s managerial prowess. xxoo


  2. Wings
    We have
    a microsopic anatomy
    of the whale
    William Carlos Williams

    We have
    a map of the universe
    for microbes,
    we have
    a map of a microbe
    for the universe.

    we have
    a Grand Master of chess
    made of electronic circuits.

    But above all
    we have
    the ability
    to sort peas,
    to cup water in our hands,
    to seek
    the right screw
    under the sofa
    for hours

    gives us

    Liked by 3 people

    • John… thank you thank you for thinking of this poem by Holub. His work is new for me. And a Czech! There’s so little I know of my own family’s lineage so I’m reading reading and it’s a homecoming. “Brief reflection on killing the Christmas carp” and I’m a little girl singing the alto part of the Christmas mass under the cathedral of suburban trees, snow falling, only the trees hear…Kýrie, eléison.

      What can I say … I’m stunned and spinning in my core.



    • It’s years old Steven. It may have even been the genesis of this whole series. The contrast of fluid organic forms and organic forms in boxes in boxes in boxes….alienation and surreal whimsy.


  3. Read this one a couple of times, and it grew on me each time, especially the “hearts that prism lightning”, but then I sat with the image held in the collage for a short while. And then it really went to work. The facial expression and cupped hand of the person really struck me. I felt like the flying red flags, which became symbols of the microbial in the context you’ve created here, were free flying, the architects, the teeming choreography, and the face of the man was somehow empty of that dynamism. He seemed searching– slightly vacant, sadly hollow. But there was a lovely sensation of redemption in the realization that the flag-microbes, and the mountain that held the space around him were evidencing the beauty and power he truly is, even if it is absent from his immediate knowing. A beautiful jam!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Michael….it’s an older, unintended collage. Just something I followed along with as it came together. As I was saying to Steven above…it may even be the genesis of this particular microbial series. It stirred something in me that looked for resolution. The first poem I wrote described the collage, much as you have. And then niggled at me until I understood. Contrapuntal….finding those harmonies. xxoo


  4. Jana, The space in the art- like the words- seem to be sharing beautiful human “distortions” – the space in the art gives moments of great depth thrust into a single plane- the red hurtling banners, and the spiral in the clouds, and then the distant mountain brought near leaning into our space. -So in the same way I love how the microbial stew becomes winged thoughts and prism lighting. It is a deep mystery you have put forward with beautiful simplicity and harmony.


    • I love the genre of magic realism in all its forms, Jack. And the writing of contemporary Native American authors like Louise Erdrich. These artists, writers, film makers, present a tableau of layers and floating symbols… a sacred feasting of distortion in depths of flavor. It always feels intimate…like a really good scratch, a place where you haven’t been able to reach by yourself. They’re my trail guides and probably influenced this tiny collage.

      Following your eye through this post was a real treat, Jack. I feel blessed.


    • A cold front is coming
      the fever is within
      and dreams float free

      float definition:
      – rest or move on or near the surface of a liquid without sinking.
      – move or hover slowly and lightly in a liquid or the air; drift.
      – a platform mounted on a truck and carrying a display in a parade.

      “Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”
      ― Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine


  5. You’d probably notice I’ve been visiting your blog a bit today. In reading the Poetics of Light, it is often so dense with information and re-reading doesn’t help so I thought I’d go digging in the archives to find what’s to be found. The opposable dancing thumbs and winged thoughts in a stew, the comment to Hariod about walking and observing and what has changed in the (because of the) observation process of others … small, mundane instances provoke thought.


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