Random Acts Of Poetry

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor

Fellow scribe and legendary editor Rosaleen Leslie Dickson and I first passed like ships in the night in the autumn of 1942. Due to wartime exigencies I was being born at the Royal Victoria Hospital while Rosaleen was being wed to her beloved David in Westmount, Quebec.

A delicious descendant of the Moir Chocolate dynasty on her distaff side, Rosaleen also naturally inherited her pater’s penchant for poetry from famous left-wing Maritime poet Kenneth Leslie.

A youthful admirer of her strong editorial stances and writing in The Shawville Equity (the Dicksons bought the weekly in 1953), I marvelled as Rosaleen soon became well-known as “an affliction to the comfortable and a comfort to the afflicted” in neighbouring Pontiac County and throughout The Ottawa Valley.

Her many directorships with local charitable organizations are too numerous to list here (see http://www.flora.org/rosaleen/family.html ), but our paths crossed again in the ‘60s when her eldest daughter, Jennifer, married my old friend, Peter.

The convergence narrowed further when I inherited her editorship of a radically re-vamped weekly Carp Valley Press and Rosaleen moved on to improve the The West Carleton Review in 2001.

Rosaleen’s current crusade is transforming the former National Press Club into the new National Press Club Foundation. See her Web page at  http://www.pressclub.on.ca/

As past directors of Ottawa Independent Writers (OIW) and currently together on the executive of The Media Club of Ottawa, we now also share the distinction of serving as editors of True North Perspective.

Rosaleen’s octogenerian status never really occurs to me. She is, quite simply, an eternal force of nature.

Daily Invention

By Rosaleen Dickson

Life's a perpetual challenge, exponentially growing with age.
"Being Old" is a book with no rules, and a new language on every page.
You don't get a map, or instructions, you have to invent your own way.
No day can be taken for granted; each one is like no other day.

Never Again

I have been told that being old                           
Is just a frame of mind.                                   
But folks who grow past eighty know                   
It’s nothing of the kind.                                   

Our hearing dims, but wisdom brims,              
Through all the passing years.                     
And in the end, we’re left, my friend
With more between the ears.              

So if I rage at rushing age,                                                  
This thought relieves my pain:     
It’s good to know I’ll never go                      
Through being young  - again.    

By Rosaleen Dickson
to the tune of Auld Lang Syne