Zombie Dawning

The zombies are coming; no one knows why –
no time to ponder such things anyhow.
Apocalypse gives us no time to cry.
Survival is all we can think of now.

They hunt for us in slow, relentless mobs
and push past all our barricades by force.
We stifle our screams and swallow our sobs
to realize we are just their food source.

There may exist a ruling, safe elite –
the privileged who caused our current woes
and watch us as we’re torn apart like meat –
but likely they’re no better off.  Who knows?

For us, they won’t sweep in to save the day.
To them, we never mattered anyway.


Poetic Conceit

Whether conveying a joy or a rage,
a bit of light fluff or advice that’s sage,
in classical form or bizarre new age,
it should fit comfortably on one page.

Before the reader loses desire,
poetry should be terse and aspire
to quickly make its point and inspire.
Just one page is all it should require.

A single page should normally suffice,
at least it should, to show that it’s concise.
If longer, it’s essay and not precise,
employing no real poetic device.

If rambling on past page one it goes,
it’s probably not poetry, but prose.


Lost in Translation

The students translate, at teacher’s request,
the flowery phrase written with “dumb rules,”
but poetry’s no comprehension test,
as often it gets approached in our schools.

From moon to ocean the poem careens –
“‘Diana’s lost sailor’s tossed on his bark.’
Who can tell me what this poet’s line means?”
“On choppy seas, the dude sailed in the dark.

“No goddess, though, put him in his boat,
so why invoke ancient mythology?
It’s not Neptune that’s keeping him afloat
but naval skill and oceanography.”

Perhaps these teachers get what they deserve
from lessons and metrics graded by curve.


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).

In 2012, he won honorable mention in the Society of Classical Poets Poetry Competition.

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2 Responses

  1. Bruce Dale Wise


    Although those animated, undead corpses rise
    in mobs, and crash through barricades relentlessly,
    we must retain our consciousness despite their eyes,
    we must remain aware of life despite their arms.
    They thrive upon dismay, rely upon surprise.
    They want to take us over with their evil charms.
    We must hit hard, fast, oft, no matter what their sum.
    We must attack their heads, brains, use whatever harms.
    James PH. Kotsybar knows well—the zombies come!
    There is no stopping them—a pock o’ lips and teeth!
    We’ve little time to pause or ponder. Hear that drum!
    Survival is important. Now, breathe deeply. Breathe!

  2. James Ph. Kotsybar

    I haven’t been back to this page in a while and so only now 84 days later am I aware (stupid Zombie me) of your reply to this post. Thank you, Bruce, I’m honored that you took the time and effort to put it in metered verse. And yes, I moaned like a zombie at, “a pock o’ lips.”


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