by James Kotsybar
The blissful butterfly seems unconcerned,
while sipping nectar, flitting with its mate,
but it remembers everything it learned
when caterpillar seemed its only fate.
When it could only inch along and feed
to saturate its flesh with pungency
of bitter leaves – a deft defense, indeed,
from predators from whom it could not flee –
it literally was embittered by
its appetite and all that it consumed.
It never dreamt that one day it would fly.
While lacking wings, how could it have presumed?
Recalling its state before pupation,
its pulsing wings signal celebration.
NASA has selected James Ph. Kotsybar’s poetry for launch into Martian orbit — the first literature to another world. His poetry appears in the mission log of the Hubble Telescope, and has won honors from the Society of Classical Poets, Odes To The Olympians, Ohio’s Ingenuity Center and Balticon. Other publication credits include The Bubble, Askew, LUMMOX Press and Sixfold. Performances include The Los Angeles Performing Arts Center, Llhasa Club, Beyond Baroque Gallery, KCSB 91.9 FM, KDB 93.7 FM, and three cable television channels. He co-owns Chaotic&Exotics (orchid nursery) in northern Santa Barbara County, is an accredited judge for the American Orchid Society and breeder of over a hundred orchid hybrids.