Naturalistic Poems by James Ph. Kotsybar

(Today’s post features poetry by guest writer James Ph. Kotsybar, whose poems have received special recognition by NASA. A brief bio is provided below.)


Enraptured by the infinite night sky
that beckons, like a seductive teacher,
inciting me to ask the questions why,
I find no need for pulpit or preacher.

Divinity quietly winks at me
with billions of twinkling eyes until
I’m drawn into majestic mystery,
enticed to learn to understand this thrill.

I am myself the dust of what I view,
organized to observe and comprehend
this study I’ve  begun, that’s never through —
cosmic curriculum without an end.

I’m pupil to the stars and teachers’ pet,
and yet, I’ve barely learned the alphabet.



Something from nothing is the ultimate act of expressive creativity.

That is our core –
a miracle of probability or chance.

So many ways it might have failed but doesn’t, but most impressive is the free use of elements that had never previously existed –
the sheer inventiveness!

In a sensible universe that follows simple logic we are,
after billions of evolutionary years, able to understand, arrange and extrapolate life’s ample supplies and inspiration.

We become artists to
share in the ingenuity
of our expanding multiverse.

Our origin and nature
creates desire and desire to create.

Like observational ability,
from simplest rules comes great complexity.



We think we can preserve the life we see
by simply storing it genetically,
or in museums of taxidermy
or zoos, that almost let it wander free.

An animal that’s caged might perform stunts
but wont display natural behavior.
The tiger that is fed no longer hunts,
and the zookeeper is not its savior.

Specimens for future generations
cannot convey the wonder that’s been lost.
“Nature Exhibits” are decorations,
reminding us of what our progress cost.

Life only can be maintained in the wild.
Unless vivacious, it’s just been defiled.



Suppose you found out that you were a ghost,
would you continue to haunt
or move on?

Do you think you would try your uttermost
to talk to those who weep
because you’re gone?

I think perhaps you’d sit with them a while
to offer comfort from beyond/above,
to eavesdrop on their prayers,
see through their guile
or just to share their company and love,
but, with all of eternity before you,
as a pure spirit,
unfettered by flesh,
might your past become mundane
and bore you?

How does one keep disembodiment fresh?

Could the cosmos call you
on some new quest, or would you equate
familiar with best?





Dark Energy can
overwhelm attractive force
and drive all away.





We’re made of stuff that’s hardly even here,
composed of atoms that are mostly space.

The solidity with which they appear
happens because their trapped electrons race
around the nucleus — near light speed fast —
and always possess a negative charge
that won’t allow similar charges past.

They also make the atom appear large.

Around the nucleus, that is tiny,
electrons blur to a far distant cloud.

Were we their size, we wouldn’t even see
the nucleus we’d remotely enshroud.

The percent of empty space that we define
is ninety nine point nine nine nine nine nine.

Brief Bio:
James Ph. Kotsybar, chosen for NASA’s special recognition, is the first poet published to another planet aboard NASA’s Mars orbiting MAVEN spacecraft. His poetry appears in the Hubble Space Telescope’s mission log and was awarded and featured at NASA’s Centaur’s 50th Anniversary Art Challenge. Invited by the President of the European Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters in 2018, he performed his poetry before an international audience of scientists and Troubadours (Europe’s oldest poetic institution) in their founding city of Toulouse, France, at the EuroScience Open Forum, earning a standing return invitation. He sees a point down the road where science and poetry will meet again for their mutual benefit.

Learn about Membership in the Spiritual Naturalist Society

The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism as a way of life, develop its thought and practice, and help bring together like-minded practitioners in fellowship.

SNS strives to include diverse voices within the spectrum of naturalistic spirituality. Authors will vary in their opinions, terms, and outlook. The views of no single author therefore necessarily reflect those of all Spiritual Naturalists or of SNS.

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