Prime Directive

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thank you, Gene, for teaching me that all living things are sacred

no need to seek out new life forms

respect for those known comes first

even the stones speak to me now

I who as a child encircled ants in a ring of fire to watch them

scurry and burn

tore limbs from trees

leaves from bushes

flowers from roots

with my fingers popped snapdragons

even the stones now speak to me

pummeled spiders with rocks

imprisoned fireflies in a jar where they subsequently died

stepped on grasshoppers

squished crickets

now even the stones speak to me

remorse for my past barbaric indifferences

nature's spilled blood cries out from the soil

a repentant murderer who discovered in himself the lower life form

the stones speak to me even now

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