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Poems by Cactus


Crickets click creaking
bog frogs blurp burping
buzzing bees, busy bees

Sticky air swampy
listless leaves sweating
rippling reptile rouses

Slip slithering the seething beast
wiggle winding, wending his way
slash splashing through the weedy reeds

Snakes eyes, forest prize
rattle shake, battle snake

Devil's grip dripping death
as the prey prays
life leaking the unlucky

Body bleeding, blood draining
slowly dying, flesh feeding
heeding hot hunger

Bugs biting the fleshy bones
creep crawling the crumpled corpse
laying larvae, leaving life

Now & Then

I emerge from the metallic tunnel
Blinded by red & green lights
Reflecting & refracting, flickering & flashing
To the pulse of progress

Thrown into the lycra web
Chewing on red hot computer chips
My sensors overload
As the spider approaches

Spinning synthetic silk around my body
I feel her digital limbs dangling above me
Her eyes darken as she speaks
"The web will consume you"

"You are either part of , or prey of the web.
No prayer will save the prey"
Her pinchers pierce my skin
Injecting the virus

My vision deteriorates
I see 2-D not 3
X, Y but no Z
Tilting off my axis, spinning

Help, I've fallen
And I can't get out
Trapped with trite trinkets
Shopworn sayings echo everywhere
Panicked, I clap on & I clap off

She approaches me
A material girl wrapped in psychedelic fur
Her laced hand reaches out
And hands me the cube

A rainbow of colors, a mind bending marvel
Intrigued by the invention,
I twist the curious cube
The more I twist the more I mix the colors

She whispers in a breathy voice
"Conquer the cube, unravel the mystery
Coordinate the colors
The solution will show you the way"

Puzzled, Perplexed
My frustration mounts
As I tire of this trivial pursuit
I hurl the cursed cube

Trying to escape I approach the eight tracks
The Guru of Ginsu approaches
He hands me a sharp knife and says
"Seek the Magic 8 Ball"

I cut through the polka dotted polyester foliage
With my handy Ginsu gadget
Finally I glimpse the black globe
I must follow the path to the dark oracle

Through the patter patter of purple drizzle
I spy the 8 ball under a pile of pet rocks
Furiously I toss aside the sedate stones
Uncovering the oversized black billiard ball

Shake, Shake, Shake
Slowly, the answer floats into view
Through the blue water I see it rise

Confused, I collapse to the ground
On my back I stare into the lite brite night
Trying to connect four in the colorful constellation
Pondering the "Maybe"

Trapped in nostalgia, I sigh
Squeezing unused toilet paper rolls to relieve stress
Banging against cranial walls
I cannot get out of my head

Driving up in a glowing green Pinto
Wearing skin tight designer jeans
Ginsu and his Chia pet emerge
With deathly breath he whispers

"Wallow in the way it used to be
Wax poetic on the past.
To escape this then,
Seek the wonder of now"

Maybe so
Maybe I know
I prefer to click my heels
And follow Toto

Y=1 as a function of Z

The rock star and the athlete
One, a walking cancer draped in hair and stubble
Worshipped for lyrical insight
The other, a flawless physique in a uniform
Chastised for character flaws
Each carries infectious influence into the arena

Clothes hang limply from his drooping shoulders
Sunken cheeks, Sunken chest
A gaunt and awkward figure
His body oozes sin out onto the stage

A childhood outcast, a throwaway friend
Beaten, bullied and bruised
He grasps the game with uncommon insight
Dissecting the players, from under the bleachers

Throbbing beats penetrate
Adolescent fortresses
Parents fear wicked words of wisdom
As he reveals a twisted system

A captivated crowd revels in his gloom
With fury he wheezes out his frustrations
Drug induced dribble drips from his lips
His ragged rhetoric incites a demographic

Cryptic lyrics invite rebellion
"Follow me, not follow"
To maim, maul and molest
The body, the system

His body personifies fitness
Each play displays a symphony of muscles and skill
Sweat screams out of his body
Each night he pushes physical limits

Anger injects adrenaline, he injects steroids
Dancing in the "Zone", a classic performance
Time bends, as he moves faster than everyone else
A natural, surreal high

Limping onto the field, he stuns the crowd
As the final seconds tick away
Throwing under pressure
He wins the game, and our hearts

The crowd cheers the miraculous reception
A tingles shoots through the TV
And up our spines
Our spent hero collapses with relief

Team first! The system works
"But you gotta take care of #1"
As a role model, he inspires millions
To break the law

Sold out crowds cheer them on
Each enters from a different door
Motivating us to seek out our own Nexus
Of Body and Mind

How do we reconcile the messages
Money manipulates media
Profit provokes the equation
Adolescents grapple for the solution
To this mathematical malfunction

The Naked Statesman

I look at you
I see through you

In the mirror, you reflect
Unable to detect, the subtleties
Your posture speaks to me
A brief frown betrays you

I observe your tailored trickery
As if it belonged to the Emperor

Sharp lines and custom contours
Present a false symmetry
Masking your paleness
Reshaping your flaws

I hear what you say
I sift through your rhetoric

Speaking with synthetic sincerity
You camouflage your message
Carefully chosen words wilt
They cannot conceal you

Fabricated facade, a sheer negligee
You disrobe by disguise


Under the gray gloom of an overcast summer sky
in a deserted baseball field
A crow sits on the pitcher's mound
scratching up dust and stretching it's wings

A subtle breeze blows across the infield
erasing footprints from last night's game
silence sits in the bleachers
yellow dust trickles into the outfield

The crow stares out across the plate
cheerful voices carried by wind
give the bird his notice
squawking in protest, he flies off

Footprints form once again
Only to fade away

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Biographical sketch: My real name is Daniel Quiles Pagan. I live and work in a small town located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am actively involved in my community.

Cactus Cowboy recommends:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Reason: "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is a splendid example of his work. His shorter poems, such as "Epitaph", are also remarkable. Coleridge creates vivid images with his poetry. His poems share a rhythm that captivates the reader. The story flows well as a poem.

Recommendations for writers:

The two most important avenues to improve your poetry are revisions and feedback. Revisions always improve a poem. Revisions also help to crystallize your style. Feedback is crucial to building a bridge between your poetry and the reader.

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