Prickly Pear Cactus–Queen of the Desert Summer Solstice

Upon the ground spreads
Brave pioneer of the desert sands
Paddle-shaped stems
In spiny armor
Look as if plant fit for here
But a closer look in fact
Can deceive
Upon its crests display
Tender yellow crepe paper blossoms
Aglow from sun at highest strength
In prosperity over harsh climate

Teaches one of nature’s great lessons
What appears delicate 
May be of the strong
Fragile overcomes fierceness of environment


Mark Cooney has lived in the Pikes Peak region since 1981. He has taken delight in its many life zones and ecosystems in a relatively small area, and he has painted and written poetry about them for decades. His favorite season here is autumn, and his favorite tree is the aspen. His second love is the otherworldly beauty of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. He is mostly a self-taught artist and poet. He has found art and poetry very therapeutic in a fight through mental illness. 

Photo By: HGTV