About this book

Humankind has already domesticated bees and silkworms. In the medical profession, leeches have been used for bloodletting, and maggots have been used for cleaning wounds. What other benefits may bugs serve?

Domestication of bugs, broadly interpreted to include insects, arachnids, and water bears might be the next step in the development of life on our planet. I’m going out on a limb here, to claim that such bugs, with such behaviors, could be created from existing creatures using genetic engineering. I intend this fantasy to suggest ways that bugs and human beings have evolved together, and might continue to evolve, with help from us, to make the world a better place.

Some may question whether modifications of natural creatures for human uses is ethical or safe. We don’t always know whether a natural system is resilient or delicately balanced. Consequences of changes that we make now could appear in the future to make our efforts seem unwise. But I shouldn’t need to point out that I have not harmed any creature in writing this book, but that these poems might be part of a process of debate and discovery.

The image on the cover is my pen and pencil drawing of a small male Drosophila melanogaster fly.

Links and shortcuts

In any page, you can click on or touch links to jump around in this book.

You may find the following keyboard equivalents to be convenient. Here I use the symbol ⌥ for the option key on Mac/OS or the alt key on Windows, ⇧ for the shift key, and ⏎ for the return (enter) key. Arrow keys are ◄ (left), ► (right), ▲ (up), and ▼ (down).

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The poet

Tom Sharp, self portrait

Tom Sharp is a Native American of Aleut heritage, a member of Seldovia Village Tribe. He is the author of numerous books, including Spectacles: A Sampler of Poems and Prose, Taurean Horn Press (ISBN 0-931552-10-9), a novel, Hans and the Clock (ISBN 979-8580172484), The book of science, SciFi (ISBN 979-8694935210), Things People Do (ISBN 979-8687425568), The book of beliefs (ISBN 979-8683553593), The I Ching (ISBN 979-8573510620), Images (ISBN 979-8577560515), Aleut Artifacts (ISBN 979-8575608998), Aleut Words (ISBN 979-8582103394), and First Nations (ISBN 979-8682924769).

Tom Sharp initials