AR Logo
Volume I, Number 1 (Summer 2006)
ISSN 1934-4324

Sign up for
The Aroostook Review Newsletter!

To do so, send an e-mail by clicking on the link above with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line. To unsubscribe, send an e-mail with the word "Unsubscribe" in the subject line. Please allow a week for processing.



NEW-CUE, Inc. is a non-profit, environmental education organization founded primarily to assist writers and educators who are dedicated to  enhancing  the public's awareness of environmental issues.




Betsy Retallack

Betsy Retallack began her creative journey in the mountains of western Maine and finds herself now living on the coast of Massachusetts cranking out poems while teaching music and living with her family on a hill called Poets Hill.

Stone Collector

"Heroes" October 25, 2003

 Jury Duty

Haiku and Moths

Haiku and a Thousand Fold of Birds


Stone Collector



Picking up the stone

And picking the flower

And sweeping the dust from a corner

Bending so hard from the waist

Without thinking

The blood rushing

That light rays guide my fingertips

Past any conscious thought

And internally I realize something

About picking up what was let go

Perhaps I'm naïve enough to believe

Believe what the eyes perceive

And the fingertips handle

It?s a daily fondling back and forth

Between the space near the ground

To the top of the cloud

Energy extended through my limbs

And mindless erasers, forgetfulness

A grace of emptiness

That gets refilled daily

I'm a stone collector

Casting stones back out to the sea

Grabbed by a greedy wave

Touched by

The muscle of the tide

Bending earth's journey

Taking it




"Heroes" October 25, 2003

I am.

You are.

We are

Like the last delicate flower in bloom

just before the autumn killing frost.

It gently leans from its stem

drooping, bending

into the setting sun of dusk.

Innocence displayed bravely

and unknowingly of when

the final freeze will come.

It survives as it can withstanding forecasts

and hints of autumn's end,

the bridge between the living and the resting

the awakening and dormancy

of it's flora speech,

announcing its presence

unabashedly, that this will always be

the surviving seed of perennial whispers

that flow forth with life unceasingly.



Humble servants of earth, of soil

of me.

Of bees, who support the endurance

in pollinating flight.

Of sun who graces with light

and shadow, color and gray.

Gray.. important for the contrast,

the sharpness of knowing the in-between

that reflects back the image

of dusk and dawn

and awakens at noon

to even the cloudiest of days.

The last breath of autumn

breathes on the delicate strength

of what is within

carrying on

through the heaving sighs

of seasons inhales and exhales.


 Jury Duty


One man standing

the knee buckling a bit

catches himself on the edge of the table

faces the jurors

faces the judge

ties and dockers defy the crime

make us believe there really is a nice guy

in every drunk

"I didn't mean to be drunk

hit and run, kill

didn't mean to

cause such a crime.

I'm no criminal."

sweater vest, slicked back hair

healthy looking jowls

distilled make-up rounding out the embalming

jump start the morticians job.

One man standing

fate rests in the jury of circumstance

already played out in some bad choice

called onion of choice

one layer after another

didn't know

the part would make a whole vegetable

the prosecution takes a bitter bite into the layers

and spits out what

was neatly arranged

rumors and fantasies

and gives pulp a new meaning.

His life really was a mess

after all

strip off the penny loafers

even the vintage coin

won't hold value for this verdict

no more bribes, no more excuses.

Nervous, I hold the weight of

his tension on my tight rope

resolve to know the truth.



 Haiku and Moths


Slivered moon star pair

Hang low pierced by heron flight

Seen solo at dusk


When you leave the golf course

through the cut in the wire fence,

there in the warm November

are millions of moths,

canopies of moths

to ask you

how your walk went

or bless you as you leave

or say a fluttering prayer

on your shoulder.

They are nymphs, fairies.

Delighted to be renewed

so late in the fall.

Wondering where the cold went

or when it will return.

Delighted you are passing through

their flutter chamber.

Transforming you as you pass through

the winged shroud

of millions.



Haiku and a Thousand Fold of Birds


Filling trees unseen

Songs chorus loud harmony

Mystic birds of night


Is it a bird or a leaf?

What large flocks hide in these

small park trees?

The rushing sound of chirping chatter

one hundred fold,

a thousand fold.

All at once

filling the air

with no room for any other sound.

Chirping in thousands,

invisible yet deafening.

No matter how close I looked

in the dusk light

I could not tell a leaf for a bird

or the air for sound.

There was no boundary clear enough

but just the experience.





Hosted by

University of Maine at Fort Kent
23 University Drive
Fort Kent, ME 04743

Named a 2007 Best College
in the Northeastern Region
by the Princeton Review
for the second consecutive year.


Original website content (text, graphics, look & feel)
by The Aroostook Review.
Authors, Photographers & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Background graphics courtesy of

EOS Development

EOS Development.

The Aroostook Review website designed by
Joseph E. Becker