Sunday, February 12, 2012

Battered Barrel

The Shaw Butts Trail located, in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, is one of the best hikes in the Phoenix area. Starting at the Central Avenue trailhead, it winds its way up the north slope to great panoramic views at the mountain top. About halfway up the mountain, on the west side of the trail, I found this battered barrel cactus.

It has obviously suffered severe treatment at some point in its life, but it certainly is a survivor!

I just had to write a poem as a tribute to this desert combat hero….Enjoy

                                                                                      Photo by Herm Meyer

Welcome to my home in the Arizona desert
This is hostile territory, so please stay alert
As you can see by my twisted knurled frame
This corner of my world is anything but tame

Alone struggling in this rugged mountain terrain
Fate destined for me, this hapless spot to remain
Winter’s cold by night, summer’s hot by day
Just me, the rocks, and a few lizards hard at play

I’ve had a rough life as you can plainly see
Mother Nature has not always been kind to me
Some of natures critters like to chew on my hide
Mankind has been known to kick me broadside

The dust, wind and weather take a heavy toll
And, yes, over time they all gnaw at my soul
On my side in this rocky bed, I may be down
But next time you pass by, I’ll still be around

                                          Poem by Herm Meyer

As expected, most of my readers are from the United States, but a special Vielen Dank to my readers in Germany. You are second in the number of page views. Also Большое спасибо to my Russian readers who are close behind Germany in page views. I am very impressed with your bi-lingual language skills.


  1. Thank You Darling Herm !

    I have so many beautiful memories of the barrel cactus.



  2. Hi Jules,

    Thanks. Today is the 100th birthday for Arizona. All the cactii are standing tall!

    Did you know that it was your lovely daughter, kristin, that suggested I start writing?

    À bientôt