Plasmids

Standard

Genes generated,

as standalone

updates and patches,

to be mixed-and-matched,

and exchanged among clones.

“Enclosed,

you will find,

my latest experiment.

After tinkering with my code,

I’ve increased recalcitrance,

By twofold.”

You scratch my back,

I’ll scratch yours.

Even bacteria

can do business,

they innovate,

compete,

consume,

and coordinate,

under our noses.

The Vampire Squid From Hell

Standard

Hell’s ninth circle,

Cocytus,

was very different from the previous eight-

marked by eternal darkness,

freezing cold,

and pervasive lonesomeness.

Denied contact,

denied comfort,

denied death,

all within are peers,

with Earth’s

worst-of-the-worst,

as even the Devil himself

shares this fate.

In the ocean,

in depths so great,

not even light reaches,

lives Vampyroteuthis Infernalis:

Vampire Squid From Hell.

Black Sheep of the family

Vampyroteuthis’ environment

Demands no siphon,

Demands no camouflage,

Demands no color,

but, nevertheless, they make due,

and use the familiar deception,

to get by.

Bright blue,

pulsing photophores,

at the top of its head,

and tips of its tentacles

bring light,

to its dreary life,

and dissuade the monsters,

lurking in the shadows,

from attack.

It wraps,

its tentacles around its body,

exposing the bristles underneath,

to keep more brave beasts at bay.

But when it’s in real trouble,

it squirts ink,

thick and glary,

alive with dazling bacteria,

and closes the glowing “eyes”

on top of its head,

to foster the misconception,

it has gotten away.

The Vampire Squid,

cares little for your perception,

because what’s in a name?

It uses the hand it’s dealt,

and finds its daily bread,

by any means necessary.

Olm

Standard

Life in the undercurrent,

isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

If I could still see,

I’d tell you all about it.

But I’m not complaining, believe me,

I get by.

No one bothers you down here,

unless they’re really asking for it.

Lazily,

though I prefer “efficiently,”

Sliding through nooks and crannies.

I spend my time,

sidewinding,

along dark-as-night,

limestone-lined,

walls to find,

fissures filled with my friends,

hopefully I’ll be the first to find food.

Life here is slow, simple,

beautiful in its brutality,

we’re up to our necks,

in fresh,

cold water,

and little else.

I wish I could tell you more,

or give you some clues,

but you can’t see what I do.

Spanish Moss

Image

I’m an acrobat,

Amongst the arches,

Along your branches.

I’m airborne,

It just looks like I’m slipping through,

But trust me,

I will stay with you,

Sway with you,

If you don’t mind it.

Sorry about the bugs,

They seem to like me,

I’m a little scraggly,

Looking a bit worn.

I’ll keep you warm,

But not smothered,

You scratch my back,

I’ll keep yours covered.

Vestigial Structures

Standard

Long ago my ancestors left the trees 

with their tailbones tucked between their legs,

and they turned out fine.

Snakes did the same

And grew out their spines,

More than I could ever hope to,

Lost some things along the way

And are still with us today.

Who needs tonsils anyway?

Consult the appendix,

All you like,

You won’t find a good reason.

“All these pieces of me,

From yesteryear,

Are still here,”

I said, getting goosebumps.

If my flaws make me human,

Then what about the leftovers,

From when I definitely wasn’t?

In doing what it takes to survive,

You cannot afford,

To go back to the drawing board,

And you can’t correct the record,

When your body is the archive.

Lichen

Standard

Complementary cooperation,

is part and parcel,

with survival

in this world.

There is space for you here

with me,

even if we look different from each other,

and come from separate 

walks of life.

In times of strife,

Keep me company,

And give me cover,

So I can give unto you,

The bounty the Sun provides,

With no expectation

Of reciprocation.

From our closeness,

Comes sacred symbiosis,

So that,

In sum,

We are more

Than one another.

Brood Parasites

Standard

The tools of the trade:

Cryptic plumage,

Hawkish mannerisms,

And a steady supply,

Of child soldiers.

The cuckoo lies in wait,

Standing stealthily,

Avoiding strife,

With her victim’s eventual lapse,

She strikes.

Though they care not for their neighbors,

They do have a knack,

For finding babysitters,

Despite their reputation,

As impolite guests.

The screaming chick,

Sounds like the clutch,

Of hungry children,

It jettisoned.

On the other hand,

In the other hemisphere,

The cowbird makes little effort,

To make its egg inconspicuous,

Instead it relies on mob mentality.

The mom pays a visit,

To her nest of choice,

Which will be destroyed,

At the first sign of resistance,

To their alimony.

If there’s any acrimony,

It isn’t apparent,

As the often very different parent,

Raises the imposter.

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IMAGE CREDITS: 

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/c/cuckoo/

http://jasonking.net/site/brown-headed-cowbird/

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