recently published in an anthology of poems


This is a nerdy, Purdy rap

Something to honour Al

An icon, a venerable Pal

Al knew about people

And places extraordinaire

Because to this man’s poetry

None can compare

He wrote for all the Annettes

Spoke beyond beggar’s banquets

Rode the rails coast to coast

So to him we give a toast

In an A-frame home he did dwell

And none could quell

That his thoughts, a profound reservoir

Was knowledge beyond a sacred abattoir

Al lived long and hard and true

Paving the poetic way for me and you

My favourite thing about this man

His value of humour, that’s why

I’m his fan

Al and my mentor Irving, they were friends

Ideas spewing forth, intellect none could pretend

Didn’t influence a Canada

Our home that had a

History, mystery of an empirical


So dear, Al, I salute you

In words and rhythm and grace

You carved an endearing place

In a swath of books, thoughts we embrace

As we remember what you did for

Literature, emboldening hearts of pure

Unadulterated love




c.2007 Honey Novick


(start snapping fingers to a steady, beatnik beat)

What do you see when you look at me,
Your mother, gran'ma, sister, or auntie?
Well, that may be, but if that's all you see,
Let's talk a little philosophy.

CHORUS: The wrinkles are art,
I've got a big heart
I'm a crone, not prone to Being invisible.

What do you see when you look at me
part of an Invisible Minorit/y?
a statistic, simplistic, non-entity?
Or, someone living with dignity?

I've got a voice, opinions, and that is power
The older I get, the less I cower.
speaking my mind is true liberation, I find
And I am welcoming the crone

CHORUS: The wattle is art,
I've got a big heart,
I'm a crone, not prone To being invisible.

I've got 3 chin hairs
And it's hard climbing stairs
But I'm here, you hear,
So, look at my personality.
Or do you think age is a liability?

CHORUS: The crow's feet are art,
It's parcel and part, of a crone, not prone
To being invisible.

If I look invisible to you,
You must be blind,
Cause you can't see,
A person trying to live with mutual respectability.
Aging is a gift, a privilege that uplift
And I am welcoming the crone.

Scat singing to rhythmic beat and then segueing into a hauntingly, beautiful and melodic song


a poem by Honey Novick
published in "This Little Light of Mine" by McMaster Centre for Gerontolical Studies

“Bella”, means beautiful in the romance languages
and that she was.
Bella was my mother’s best friend,
she became my aunt, my friend.
She was spirited and magnanimously generous.
Widowed at a young age, she raised a daughter
while coping with a broken heart.
In time the daughter would develop severe
physical and mental problems.
They didn’t see each other very much.
I remained consistently near except when Bella disappeared.
We doggedly looked but couldn’t often find her.

In time Bella settled into a wonderful home for the aged.
I visited often. Slowly, my beloved Bella was
changing. She would steal and wander and forget.
Totally unaware, she would go for walks, fall and break bones.
One time she made international headline news
When a St. Bernard dog attacked her. I took her
to court and fielded media questions. I tried to be
there for her. I tried being a friend,
chauffeur, animator, and social convener.

One day after returning home from visiting Bella,
I noticed I was very tired. After a few days I would perk up.
Then after another visit, I would become sad and tired.
I began to realize it was the visits that were depressing me.
I didn’t know this Bella anymore.
She looked familiar but the exotic, enticing woman
was gone. After a few years of my inner turmoil, I made a decision.
I couldn’t go anymore. The cost was too high.
She was well cared for. She didn’t know me.
She was in a different world where I wasn’t privy.

In my heart, I was still there for her.
In spirit I would, could never forget her.
But I couldn’t go to see her. I felt such guilt,
remorse, burdened.
I tried to speak of this but couldn’t. I would carry this alone.
If we are all interconnected, and I believe we are,
Bella and I are not
separate. What is a visit anyhow?

This is my tribute to a wonderful person who
shouldered her own burdens.
She laughed, sang, traveled, marveled,
never failed to stop and acknowledge
a child. Then this world started to slip from her
until only her body remained.
I wrestled with the question,
“Where does my obligation start and stop?”
In time I had to weigh my cost against a self-imposed duty.
Some will judge me. That’s o.k. I can live with me.
I could never sleep knowing that an opportunity came
to honour a wonderful person and I didn’t respond to that chance.
These words are my homage to Bella in
all her forms, smells, sounds, swirls, noise and grace.

For Doris
A Song by Honey Novick
published In the York University's Canadian Women Studies- Doris Anderson Issue


It was the kind of day so out of focus
That you didn’t know if outside was
cold, hot, blue, grey or yellow.
Inside was different. A community and building
called OWN, the Older Women’s Network,
dedicated to the dignity of women older
and not,
was buzzing with an exciting warmth.

There, inside OWN, sitting serenely was the
guiding light,
the protagonist leading the story that made
All of Canada look at women. Period.
Serendipitously, coincidentally, fortuitously,
I was placed next to Doris Anderson. At that time, although
She walked with a cane, her mind was clear and her spirit
Determined as the vee point of a chevron.

We were strangers. She, famous. I, a reader
and fan, anonymous.
Her seasoned grace allowed her to be approachable and welcoming.
I didn’t know what to say but felt as if I should say something to her
And so I blubbered out, “I’d like to sing for you at Christmas”.
Maybe she was embarrassed,
Maybe she thought I was nuts but harmless.

I didn’t sing to her at Christmas, but I did sing for her…
“…Go in beauty, peace be with you.
May your path always be clear.
May your strength ignite the crackling fire
That makes the spirit of hope endurable.
We have been honoured by your life.
May your brilliance shine and be shared
By those willing to receive these gifts.
…Go in beauty…Peace be with you…
Till we meet again in the light….”