This poem came out of the August 2, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by laffingkat. There are, in fact, some studies of memes that reveal similar spread patterns between ideas and germs.
subtle, insidious things.
They are not alive,
but they can co-opt life
to manufacture their own transmission.
They are viruses of the mind,
spreading not by an infected bite
but with a whisper, with the click of a key.
Ideas multiply and divide;
moods gather like clouds, bright or dark;
behaviors leap from body to body, swift as sparks.
Memes are invisible, implacable.
You must muster all your defenses:
logic is the immune system of the mind.
It's up to you to distinguish
between parasites and symbiotes.