Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Crutch

A couple of years ago, I came across a battered barrel cactus on one of my hikes. Some thoughtful souls had placed rocks under the cactus to keep it from falling over or even breaking in two. I was impressed and wrote a poem called Barrel on the Rocks.

A few days ago, I was in the same area and that cactus is still alive and well. I just had to write another poem about this “survivor”. . . . Enjoy


I went for a desert walk today
Saw an old friend along the way
“Hello,” I said upon our meeting
My friend returned a pleasant greeting

“Long time no see, how you been?”  
“I’m fine, good to see you again”
Just then another hiker passed by
Heard us talking, rolled eyes to sky

“Talking to a cactus? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” is all I could manage to say
Shrugging his shoulders, he went his way
I bid him, “adieu and have a nice day!”

So again my friend and I were alone
My friend’s mood took on a serious tone
We talked about his hardships and strife
He certainly had a plate full in his short life.

Taking a deep breath, he said, “It joys me so
And, please pass it on to everyone you know
  The most cherished and precious item I’ll ever own
Is my trail buddies gift of this crutch of stone!

Photo and poem by Herm Meyer


Taken earlier in the spring, this photo shows a blooming Creosote bush on the left and  the yellow blooming Palo Verte trees to the rear with the Shaw Buttes Mountains as a background . . . . . .

P.S. Today on the 21st of January, 2014, I went on a desert hike and passed this cactus. 
        It is alive and   well!

        With my GPS, I documented the location as Latitude = 33.593082; 
         Longitude = -112.075763 and Altitude = 412 meters 
         (Accuracy is 5 meters).


  1. Hi Herm,

    Love, love this beautiful poem. It should be framed with the precious photo of Mr. Barrell.



  2. Herm, I had a lump in my throat after reading your poem and seeing the photo of the poor barrel cactus--and then what a lovely ending!