Mosquito and Whitefly are Dead

Mosquito and Whitefly are Dead

Setting: Mosquito and Whitefly flutter over a shallow sea; the chemical scent of their food driving them onward. Mosquito has just learned that they are to deliver a message, but they will die as soon as the message is delivered.

Mosquito: “Let’s not do it. Let’s not deliver our message.” He flips a coin, it is heads.

Whitefly: “If we don’t do it, what do we do?” She flips a coin, it is heads.

Mosquito: “We could work on our flying, try to perfect it.” He flips a coin, it is tails.

Whitefly: “Perfect it how? Why? If I fly too much, then I’m somebody’s lunch.” She flips a coin, it is tails.

Mosquito: “If we deliver our payload, we die.” He flips a coin, it is tails.

Whitefly: “But that is the only purpose we have.” She flips a coin, it is tails.

Mosquito: “Why don’t we at least look at the message?” He flips a coin, it is heads.

Whitefly: “Why?” She flips a coin, it is heads.

Mosquito: “So we know what it is.” He flips a coin, it is tails.

Whitefly: “Won’t that kill the mystery?” She flips a coin, it is tails.

Mosquito: “How many times have we both thrown the same thing?”

Whitefly: “89 already. Rather improbable I think.”

Mosquito: “You throw first this time.”

Whitefly: “I’m going to look at the message.” She flips a coin, it is tails.

Mosquito: “What does it say?” He flips a coin, it is tails.

Whitefly: He takes the message out of its viral envelope and reads it: “ACGACACCCTGACTTA.” She flips a coin, it is tails.

Mosquito: “What does it mean?” He flips a coin, it is tails.

Whitefly: “I don’t know, I’d say it is morally ambiguous at best.” She flips a coin, it is heads.

Mosquito: “I’d say it is ambiguous, ambiguous at best.” He flips a coin, it is heads.

Whitefly: “Again the same. Does this mean we are somehow entangled?”

Mosquito: “I don’t know. Hey lamprey, do you carry a message?”

Lamprey: “Yes, I am to deliver it to a fish.”

Mosquito: “Can you throw a coin at the same time we do?”

They all flip, all the coins come up heads.

They all flip, all the coins come up heads.

They all flip, all the coins come up tails.

Lamprey: “Satisfied?” He swims onward.

Whitefly: “Why do we have to die to deliver a message that we don’t understand? We could be destroying the world.”

Mosquito: “We could be saving the world.”

They both flip, both coins come up heads.

Whitefly: “How many is that?”

Mosquito: “96.”

Whitefly: “We are here.” Whitefly lands on the leaf of a tree. She is hungry. She sips the sap out of the succulent leaf.

Mosquito: “Yes, I guess we eat.” Mosquito lands on a bird. He is hungry. He sips its delicious blood.

Both fall over dead. Their coins drop. One is heads. One is tails.


A removed excerpt from “Property of Nature” after edits rendered the passage obsolete. Reproduced here with permission from the author (me).

Space Rap – The Song

Music where there is no sound
The dance of space is all around
Put your ear to the vacuum ground
A wave is something going up and down

Your floating in space
your headset drawn
nothing to listen to
all the stations gone

The earth and moon hear the sound
The earth and moon dance around
Moon face never looking from Earth’s ground
Always falling, never coming down

Your floating in space
your headset drawn
nothing to listen to
all the stations gone

The magnetic sun hears the sound
It sunspots dancing all around
Electric fields to their electric ground
Magnetic lines arcing up then down

Your floating in space
your headset drawn
nothing to listen to
all the stations gone

The Milky Way hears the sound
Dancing with stars all around
Dark matter galactic edges an unseen ground
Stars moving fast when they should slow down

Your floating in space
your headset drawn
nothing to listen to
all the stations gone

Do you hear it yet?
You need more than your ears
math, sensors, and signals
the offbeat sound of spheres

Space itself hears the sound
Dancing to static all around
birth sounds of the universe in the background
even with the universe cooling down

Your floating in space
your headset drawn
nothing to listen to
all the stations gone

A removed excerpt from “Property of Nature” after edits rendered the passage obsolete. Reproduced here with permission from the author (me).

The State of Nature

Sometime in the near future…

As I walk along, I think of this trail as I hiked it decades ago. The signs posted at the trailhead used to say “Mountain Lion Warning.” On some trails, the warning signs would provide advice like “Be Large. Shout. If attacked, fight back”. I even remember some trails, not in this particular area, which posted “Grizzly Bear Warning.” The advice differed: “Play dead. Wait 10-20 minutes before getting up.”


On one hike, a friend and I debated the best strategy if someone was attacked by both a mountain lion and grizzly bear at the same time. I think we ended up agreeing they would be having a bad day and wouldn’t have to ”play” dead.


I know it may be hard to believe that nature is so domesticated and we are so used to it being that way. There was a time when I used to hike trails alone in wilderness areas with creatures which could maim or kill me. In truth, I didn’t worry much about it. I never thought it necessary to arm myself. I once saw a Griz on a distant hill preoccupied with eating wild berries. I kept a safe distance. I’ve come across black bears, even a mom with her cubs. I wasn’t alone then. Other hikers had stopped on the trail including parents with young kids. (You don’t have to outrun the bear; you just have to outrun the person next to you). An idiot with a camera made loud noises to get the mother bear to look up for a picture. She obliged. The startled cubs ran up a dead tree stump. But then Mama went back to her business. The bear could have easily turned and attacked the young kids. I should of fucking punched the photographer.


Should I feel nostalgic for a time when nature meant wilderness? When there was a real risk on the trail, particularly alone? The wild in nature has succumbed—either eliminated outright or domesticated on a farm somewhere. I do feel nostalgic for a time when I didn’t have to pay the “Nature Development Company” money for every single hike I go on.
The “Nature Development Company” is the most arrogant company I’ve ever heard of and their CEO Dr. Sedgewick the brashest person in charge. They refer to themselves simply as “Nature,” with a logo of the largest company on Earth. His company’s motto “We Own Nature” sickens and saddens me. The largest company on earth statement should be an allegory or slogan for real nature. Not for Nature itself. Instead, it means a redesign of nature for profit. You can always spot the troublemakers right off. They usurp the language.


I remember when the question “Who Owns Nature?” was a philosophical discussion. I argued with my friends, telling them they were confused. “You can’t monetize nature because we don’t add any value, not because it doesn’t have any value.” They always countered with, “People need jobs and have to live.” And I, “But I don’t see how charging people for something they used to get for free helps them.” They then dismissed or trivialized me as an idealist or a liberal. I always thought nature was inherently democratic. Apparently, I am wrong.


I trudge up the mountain, gaining almost 1200 feet. The emaciated remains of a deer lie just off the trail. I walk over to take a closer look to see if I can figure out how it died. The smell is pretty bad. I look at some scarring in its fur on its hind leg. The scarring is a brand. It says “Property of Nature.” Perfect, I think.


I finally summit. The view from the top is amazing and makes the hike all worth it. From the highest rock, I take a 360 pan shot carefully turning to rotate the camera. I have my trophy pictures. I take a couple of sips of water and eat my snack then start back.


A bee flies by. I wonder if it is a “Nature” bee or a “nature” bee. Nature’s first big success was co-opting bees. They genetically engineered bees to be attracted to a certain scent that genetically engineered plants produced when they flowered. The genetically engineered plants also produced a pesticide that killed wild bees but they cleverly made the Nature bees immune. Controlling both crops and pollination made Nature a trillion dollar business. And when wild bees interbred with Nature bees diluting the effectiveness of the mutual pairing, the company would patent another “scent” and charge their customers more for the next round of product, claiming the insecticides no longer worked. Even the treadmill of evolution seems to serve “Nature.”


I continue downhill made complacent by exercise, sunshine, and scenery. I smell the scent of sage. Or is it the company scent I smell? My nose doesn’t know. I guess even nature lies when told to.

A removed excerpt from “Property of Nature” after edits rendered the passage obsolete. Reproduced here with permission from the author (me).