Amoeba Proteus

The amoeba is a single cell, protozoal life form. In evolutionary terms it is primitive, but it is in no way simple. The manner of its integration has not been fathomed by scientists, and laying bare its genome would not bring much advance in that direction. (Genome – the sequence of nucleotide bases in DNA which provide the information to synthesise specific proteins). Not only do amoebae reproduce asexually by mitotic (binary) fission, but sexually through one amoeba fusing with another, which leads to mixing of their DNA and separation of it through a form of cellular division called meiosis. This causes a refreshing of the genetic composition of the descendants. Without sexual reproduction, genetic information would have been gradually lost through exposure of DNA to thermal energy and amoebae would have long ago become extinct.

This poem is an attempt to express my wonder at the amoeba’s complex existence.

anonymous monastery of the raw state
sentient struggle at first light

between yes and no
the pallid hues of restlessness and doubt

like and dislike
forward back

vivid fleeting moment
captured if at all as disposition

close folding fusion
muddy rejuvenation of taste and touch

sexual immolation
and sortilege

Published by davidcookpoet

I am a husband, father and grandfather. I retired from a busy working life as an adult psychiatrist in 2014. My interests are in literature, philosophy, modern jazz and horse racing. I might represent those four fields by Shakespeare, Kant, Charlie Parker and Lester Piggott. Like nearly all of us, I can identify a number of formative experiences, one of which was a psychotic episode in my first year as a psychiatrist. This reinforced an already established interest in mystical experience, and a sense of how little human beings know. My intellectual bugbear is reductive materialism, and I am surprised at the lack of moral imagination of those who promulgate such views. It seems to me they need to consider ,perhaps by exposure, just why totalitarianism is so horrific.

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