Desert Poems © Anne Sorbie 2014


you have looked at it so long


the largest womb in the American west

weeps north to south

like a red-rimmed birth canal


from which peoples

were ripped without warning

dry birthed and writhing


mouths rooting

at metamorphic breasts




in the mauve desert


braided hills

hide settlement

dangle roads

like veins in a violet chignon


cloak the roar

of a large white Meteor




an agitation of hands


fault lines

and sandstone:


bluff straight for a hundred miles

until whirl marked like icing pink in a bowl.


a 1930’s tunnel at the top

of a mountain:


a mile and a half long

burrowed ice cream ruse.


inside: cars move like ants

lit for the warm womb darkness.


outside: scrub growing at the heads

of tall hoodoos, truffle proud.


nearby: a lone tree painted in place

by Utah’s group of seven


there, on a branch, twisted and hangining:

Zion’s daughter


fraught with constraint

nostalgia choking her throat


five chimney’s

permeate her roof


a bailout cry

balled up in her fist


she is a mirror

on the way to you


a faithful reflection

reminding you


2010 © 

In October 2010, just as I was leaving to drive to Edmonton with Kathleen Wall to read at Audrey’s Books, I checked my mail box. In it was an envelope from mentor Robert Kroetsch. Inside was a copy of his Chapbook, All The Dead Husbands. He’d read my novel, Memoir of a Good Death, and the chapbook title was a joke, a play on the divorced husbands (5) of my Rhegan Flett character. I took his letter and the chapbook with me.  Carried it from Calgary to Edmonton, then out to B.C. where I had a number of readings and signings setup for “Memoir.” I found myself responding to the poems in “Husbands,” and later when I mentioned this, was asked by RK to send them to him. The joking continued. Blame It On The Bees was the result. “Bees” includes 13 responses each numbered for RK’s originals. The best way to read them is to proceed from RK’s “1″ then to my “1″… RK’s “2″ then my “2″ etc. There are 13 in the shared series. “Bees” includes three additional poems. Enjoy! To read an excerpt from a chapbook, click on the cover.


All The Dead Husbands

View Olive Reading Series

Blame It On The Bees