Tipping Point

In our millenium’s first dozen years,
they say we’re headed for a tipping point —
a disastrous sum of many fears
when Nature herself will crash and disjoint.
It’s not the Mayan calendar that’s cause,
nor the Sun’s circumstantial alignment,
but our careless consumption without pause
and our uncontrolled wholesale consignment.
Our survival’s not a dress rehearsal.
We are fast approaching the precipice
where it will be too late for reversal.
Earth’s ecosystem hangs over the abyss.
If you’re reading this and claim you don’t care,
we don’t need to wait; we’re already there.



While mingling at the open mic event,
I met a student, charming and well-meant,
who told me she had come, since she’d been sent
by her professor as an assignment.

“Are you an English major then?”  I asked.
“Oh, no,” she said, “it’s social sciences.”
A bit surprised, I asked why she’d been tasked
to form such poetic alliances.

“New to the area, I thought it wise
to go to listed readings where I’d find
a local subculture to scrutinize,”
which was the project that she’d been assigned.

“And here, all along, I had been thinking
we were the culture,” (…guess we’ve been sinking.)


Closed Borders
(or Poetry in Santa Barbara)
                        — a kyrielle

The storefront bookstore was long closed
and now, outside, homeless reposed.
It was done-in by Amazon.
Oh, Kyrie eleison.

We set up tables, chairs and such.
The homeless left; it was too much —
this scene for them — too woebegone.
Oh, Kyrie eleison.

The patio was windy, cold —
scant audience and uncontrolled.
What did we care? The mic was on.
Oh, Kyrie eleison.

We read our words until we froze.
Why we’re so desperate God knows
but declines to expound upon.
Oh, Kyrie eleison.



The Universe is expanding,
Faster than the limit of light,
Beyond common understanding.

Cosmology is demanding.
Its study is by no means slight.
The Universe is expanding.

Physics’ heroes, quite outstanding,
Have applied their full mental might
Beyond common understanding.

There’s no point in reprimanding,
As we gaze out into the night,
The Universe is expanding.

The truth of fact is commanding.
Whatever is has to be right,
Beyond common understanding.

Einstein’s physics notwithstanding,
Much quicker than what we call bright,
The Universe is expanding
Beyond common understanding.


James Ph. Kotsybar owns Chaotic Exotics orchid nursery.  Publication credits include Poetic Justice, Prophetic Voices, 2AM Magazine, EarthWords, Orchids (first poem in this magazine of the American Orchid Society since its 1932 inception), The Bubble and Askew. He has performed at Llhasa Club (Hollywood), Beyond Baroque Gallery (Santa Monica), The Los Angeles Performing Arts Center, R.A.I.L.  –  Readers And Interested Listeners (Santa Barbara County) Santa Barbara Poetry Festival, Ventura Artists’ Union Gallery, KCSB 91.9 FM (regular guest), Santa Barbara Channels 17 & 21 (“Green Screen” poetry videos ) TAP TV ( “We The People”), KDB-93.7 FM (for National Poetry Month).

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.

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One Response

  1. Julie Catherine Vigna

    James, I really enjoyed reading your poetry; it’s excellent. Very thought-provoking lines that ask us to look deep into our own social consciousness. Your villanelle, Superluminelle, is outstanding! Awesome! ~ Julie


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