I Squashed a Fly

I killed a spider

I squashed a fly.

I not only squashed

I smashed, bashed

crushed, flushed

ended, dead-ended

demolished, abolished

One spider.

One fly.


It's not that they threatened

my family, my kin,

wanted to tear down the house

I'm in.


Guess I had none.


less, it seems

except in dreams.

In dreams I am



forever mind


my passions

my views.

I used to call us Newanderthals

Perhaps not so new, after all

Neanderthals made hands

On walls(5)

They pictured

They imagined

They befriended


They exist no more.

We massacred them.(1)

We were the first

at genocide

the worst

at empathy.

We could not share


be aware

that others

had brothers

sisters, and more.

Now we build



programmed to be exactly

like us.

The nobots

will kill on command

(or even without)

with no remorse

no source

of guilt

no fear of being

named or blamed.

I'm not saying


(I think).

I'm saying stop



Before we murder a spider

a fly

an other

a brother

a sister

and more.

Before we despoil the ocean's shore

and tarnish our legacy

at its core.

In Zen they ask

"Show me the face you had


Before your parents.(2)

Neanderthals are forever gone.

No one will know the face they had


Should I still continue

to kill a spider,

to squash a fly?

Should I ask the researchers

Why oh why

are you plunging forward

so you and I

may one day be squashed

like a spider, a fly?

Is the problem really the spider? The fly?

Or is the problem you

And I?(4)

(1) A new study indicates that we and the neanderthals may in fact have co-existed for longer than previously thought. But we still kill spiders, and we still swat flies. Another take on long-range remote controlled weaponry is provided in this New York Times article. The urge to kill, the addiction to murder, has not changed. The DNA of warring still consumes our species.

(2) Buddhist Koan

(3) An article from the Guardian newspaper reveals the dramatic decline in the insect population worldwide.

(4) Are we incurable? Unmanageable? Ungovernable? Was Winston Churchill right when he said, "Democracy is the worst kind of government, except for all the others"? Does control necessitate tyranny or autocracy? See, for example, the type of attitude adaptation being used in a park in Amsterdam. Would that work in the U.S.?

(5)A new study indicates that the earliest handprints may in fact have been created by children roughly 200,000 years ago in Tibet, possibly neanderthal or denisovan.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2021

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