Microbial fantasia #4


floating circles_2~

This finely tuned edge enchanted by chaos,

the equilibrium of its awareness

becoming ever more fluid

ever more graceful

ever more free


“Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue


 Well…this post ends the Microbial Fantasia series. I’m sure these community oriented creatures will show up again in some form. They seem to pop up at unexpected times. It’s impossible for me to ignore their wit and enthusiasm.

Speaking now for the more demanding and less accommodating among their numbers, I recently acquired a cold from my toddler grand son. Teeming with a virus, I was still determined to venture into new territory, reading a few of my poems for the first time at a relatively serious, eclectic open mike poetry series in town.  I’d been attending for a while, but only participating in the audience, gathering my own momentum, building up steam to eventually read myself.

With a head full of fog and drift, there wasn’t much room for nerves, so I just signed up at # 11….my lucky number… and awaited my turn. It was an especially intimate night… smaller in numbers and with some of my favorite poets reading. Everyone had settled in to really listen.

When it came my turn, while I was reading, I felt…well… like I was here.  All the comments and dialogue, all of our camaraderie surrounded me.  I found my voice … up there, on stage, under the spotlights, working with a microphone….all for the first time. In my life.

I was completely surprised how enjoyable the experience was. So how could I not be grateful to these rowdy microbial guests,  my visiting virus, for getting me out there.

Never underestimate possibilities in chaos, I remind myself. Hah!


painting/paper collage:  j h white



41 responses

  1. I delight at the way this one resolves and refines Jana; from the rather stuttering alliteration of the first line to the simple, under-stated elegance of the last – ‘evermorefree’ would make a lovely word in its own right would it not?

    Emperor Joseph II: My dear young man, don’t take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It’s quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that’s all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.

    Mozart: Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, congratulations, Jana. Sounds like a lovely experience. I’m sure all your single-celled constituents were cheering you on!

    The painting-collage is great. It reminds me of an aboriginal track through a collection of slogan buttons found a few millennium after modernity was reabsorbed by a revitalized antiquity. Lots of light and cheer, ageless brilliance and repurposed stamped metal riddled with new life.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking of your word ‘edge’ I wonder if this also is a type of line or division or border. The creatures existing on an unseen, terribly tiny edge (?) are aware? Or they are the edge? Like music? Like the spaces we need to discover. I’m cross-referencing your poem, your series, and the words by Miles Davis. They fill the edges around what’s not there?
    No, I think I’m on the wrong track altogether. You have a cold from ‘them.’ You read at the open stage with a cold & thought of ‘here.’ The series on the page relating to their active presence. They are a scrolling page.
    No again. I’m just going to think about the poem now. On the edge, at the edge, along the edge and because of the edge: it is fluid, graceful, free, aware. Enchanted and finely tuned. The edge must infuse us with its qualities as we: Are cut? Turning a corner? Stepping over and across? Entering? Exiting? Balancing?

    I”m going with ‘balancing on chaos.’
    But I think I’m missing the mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A conundrum Steven. Oh, you crack me up here. I am so pleased with your questions. This is like an old fashioned comedy routine. I feel like Gracie Allen.

      OK…so….I see that I myself in my entirety, am the ‘edge’… I am more than my own cellular structure since I am also inhabited by millions of other life forms in a symbiotic relationship that contribute to defining this ever shifting ‘edge’ that is me.

      This physical multiplicity isn’t amorphous, even though it’s invisible, because of this ‘edge’. It ultimately defines my state of health and well being, but only at any one moment. I can be aware of it, but this ‘edge’ is ever shifting.

      Viruses are not normally part of my community… until I get a cold. And now since doing this series, I felt less like I was being ‘invaded’ than that these microorganisms took a wrong turn somewhere and just needed some hospitality until being redirected. We all danced in chaos, and they afforded me a positive experience despite some physical discomfort.

      When I was reading on stage, I felt as comfortable there, on stage, as I do here….dialoguing with you now. It’s different of course, this is virtual, and you’re not actually right here…but I was surprised by the similarities in sharing. We’re sharing. And ultimately that’s what I was doing the night I read my poetry. This greatly simplified the experience for me.

      The Miles Davis quote to me, is contrapuntal. In this context it’s a kind of mirror image. He’s talking about playing the spaces between, rather than the shapes themselves. That’s the ‘edge’ because it can not be defined…it can only be lived.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. What does it mean when we say he/she gave me a cold. I caught a cold. Let the virus run its course. Do these temporary states allow time for realising whatever we need to understand. Your poetry posts, growing a community of followers, a run-up to the live reading. Well done, you earned your delight.

    I am at home with a broken ankle, temporary, but allowing guilt-free time to listen my thoughts, reading more of others’ and maybe, up to the present, this is my run-up, but to what, I have yet to discover.
    Enjoyed reading this uplifting post Jana.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes Teri… my edge walking winged friend….ouch! I hope your ankle isn’t too painful (or itchy), heals well, and this sabbatical is every bit an opportunity for something as deeply expressive, or restful, as your coastline. Heal well…


  5. A wonderful series Jana. I found it highly infectious, no pun intended – honest! The collage is great too – Miles Davis’ muted notes, finding and losing form, finding and losing, and finding……..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How many times will I shed raw and return… ever more graceful ever more free? Standing, stuffed up in front of the mike, speaking poetry your poetry of light… “I felt…well… like I was here.” How cool it would have been to be there.


    • Your bittersweet comment, Chris, reminds me that I often can relate to the androids in Blade Runner, in this our virtual world. But it’s a grand one. It’s everything we make it to be. xxoo


  7. Tardy and tentative I enter the banquet hall. This post is a sumptuous feast Jana and I have been slowly tasting each offering. Such rich delights, your art and poem and writing, the comments and your responses. I read and read again, my explorations traveling in circles, large and small, as in your Papunya-Tula collage. “This finely tuned edge enchanted by chaos…” the magic of your public voice emerging from mucus and virus. Will you now need to invoke infectious microbes prior to future readings? The Miles quote brings to mind Michelangelo’s concept of carving, that the sculptor sees the figure within the stone and his art is to carve away everything that is not the figure. Also this by Lao Tzu: “To shape clay into a vessel one must use clay but one must also provide a hollow space empty of clay. Thus we are helped by what is not to use what is.” But I ramble…
    All and every level of this post is what the essence of blogging is all about. Thank you Jana and everyone for this sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your ‘rambling’ is always fertile ground John. And thank you! You’ve quoted one of my favorite passages of the Tao Te Ching…one I return to often. It may be why the Miles quote caught my attention. But welcome another virus? I hope the viruses and I have tangoed sufficiently and the nerves before future readings will be read as excitement rather than anxiousness…. the symptoms being similar. I’m grateful to the little buggers for pointing out this option.
      Frontiers John, frontiers….xxoo


  8. Regarding the painting: my first thought was it’s African in origin. Also from an ancient matriarchal system as per The Language of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas. Then I saw a comment referencing Aboriginal art. You did mention taking part in sweat lodges, probably Native American in origin? It’s then from the Spirit realm – a universal ‘language’. How wonderful to realize.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was first introduced to Aboriginal cosmology many years ago by reading Bruce Chatwin’s book “Songlines”. He talks about how the Aborigines of Australia physically “sing” the emergence of their totem clan ancestors as they walk about in the landscape….each physical feature relevant to some part of their ancestors journey. How amazing, their sense of place. I also fell deeply in love with their art, which speaks to this. This is me, just fooling around with paint and scissors, and then playing with some filters…. play time!

      Liked by 1 person

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