Sunday, August 16, 2009

Deeper Than The Rest, Rain Gently Falls

There are three kinds of lice that infest humans. Head lice, clothing lice, and pubic lice. Pubic lice are very closely related to gorilla lice. We probably caught them in the days we used gorilla nests for our own. I hate to think how else we might catch them. This was early in human history. Head lice we share with chimpanzees from back a few million years. The body lice that live in our clothes migrated from head lice about 70,000 years ago. That's probably about the time we really started wearing clothes for real rather than casual. How's that for history? I got it from The Book Of Animal Ignorance.

Deeper Than The Rest

If I were a louse
I'd want to be a wood louse,
with abilities
beyond the louse norm
so I could use my legs, sway
to the music laid
with my eggs into
the rot of things and burrow
deeper than the rest.

February 5, 2009 3:26 PM


My instincts screw me up a lot. I am singular by instinct and the center of everything pretty much. It's a secret, you know. I would never tell you that it all revolves around me. That would be dangerous for you to know. You can't imagine how insulting it is to find out that you actually think it all revolves around you. How wrong you are!

Rain Gently Falls

You love me, I know.
I feel it so intensely
I must be the one,
the only one you
love for all eternity.

Then I notice clouds,
your love is clouds,
clouds in all known directions,
and rain gently falls,
falls everywhere.
You do not discriminate
and you love them too.

I admit this troubles
the limits of my being
with low jealousy.

February 6, 2009 10:45 AM


  1. You give a different slant to the humble louse...and make it seem beautiful.
    As for your rain, pattering down all around:

    I once tried
    to explain
    to my husband
    that loving, for me,
    is an all or nothing proposition

    I love equally all whom I love

    He didn't like that,
    didn't understand it,
    wanted to fence it in
    make it all his own
    make it circle him, tame

    I tried
    how I tried
    to warn him

    You cannot cage a wild thing
    and expect it to thrive

    Our marriage has ended
    the love choked out of it
    suffocated in a too small pen

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  2. Snort!

    I don't know if that was supposed to make me giggle, but it did :)

    Ive told you before about my woodlouse dream, so I'm not even thinking about that.....


  3. Way cool louse. Never knew lice could be hip.
    Yep, people who know how to really love have the ability to love many in many ways. Not just one.

  4. K, thanks for sharing your poem. I understand.

    Michelle, I am always happy to contribute to your snort. I really like seeing you happy.

    TB, I think it is fascinating that tracking lice gives a slant on the history of the human race, that at one time we got intimate with gorilla nests if not gorillas, even though our lines of descent are as distant as primate lines can be. Tracing head lice genes leads to an agreement answer with human and chimp gene tracing about when we split in our lines of descent. We took our lice with us.

    As for the loving thing, I have learned that more often people love with great intensity and often subtlety but are lousy at communication.

    And isn't it interesting that we use a term meaning "infested with lice" to mean "no good at". We might be hurting little louse feelings. Especially since lice are obviously very good at what they do.

  5. I like the nobility of the wood louse... somehow more valiant than head or clothes or skin... burrowing is a lovely verb... it somehow resonated ( for me ) with the rain/love piece as well... on the
    ( almost ) futility of burrowing

  6. GD, since to my knowledge I am louse free (but I am informed, not free of eyebrow or eyelash mites), I am grateful that you have offered me a plush parasite of my very own. I am of course happy to share it with any who also find it appealing to have a special photo of a very special creature.

    Harlequin, it hurts my heart a little that our own species of louse do not strike your fancy. I have done all I can to rehabilitate lice, bring them forward as worthy among God's creatures. Wood lice are the country bumpkin cousins to head, body and pubic lice.

    By the way, the pubic or gorilla louse is also known as the crab louse. If you got em, you got crabs. Not only do we share them with gorillas, only humans and gorillas have them as far as we know. Species specific! These lice love us. We are gods to them. Crabs eat blood. So do all our lice.

    In fact lice are so married to us (and chimps and gorillas) that they are relied upon for ancient human information. Wiki disagrees with my source, rolling the presence of clothing back to over 100,000 years ago, roughly around the time that modern humans emerged through the bottleneck which seems in fact to give us all common ancestry from about that time. We started our journey from a few ancestors at that time, apparently filling the spaces originally occupied by other archaic humans, not only Neanderthals. Apparently we suffered from all three forms of lice already, or from two forms and then creating the third by wearing clothing.

    I have also read, that human groups were far too sparse and widespread to support very many diseases at that time. So lice infestations are arguably among the first diseases.

    This is an educational blog.

  7. Don't we all want to be the only one worthy of such love? But why on earth would we want that? Where does such a strange and selfish notion come from?

  8. Rachel, my dad taught me to heed the illusion of central position as he called it. It threads through everything we do and it is not easy to counter. AA says that selfishness and self centeredness is at the root of our trouble. That is the basic vision of all great religions, really. Everyone accepts that point. Arguments come later, about where it comes from and what to do about it, just as you observe yourself.

    So this is not strange. It is at the heart of human nature that we should want to be the only one, be the center of it all in some significant way. When we manifest as small and petty creatures this is patently insane. Yet there are other more noble manifestations. In those moments it is perhaps true that we evoke the center of everything right in the middle of our souls.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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