A Ghost Of Christmas Past


Granda's slouched 

In his fave comfy chair

A Christmas cracker party hat

Hides his four strands of hair


His wife always said:

'Get the buggers cut!'

But he wasn't quite ready

To be a total baldy nut! 


He wishes she was here now

Nagging at full pelt:

'If ye eat or drink one more thing,

yer gonna burst your belt!'


And Sophie's eyes sparkle

Like the lights upon the tree

She loves to spend this precious time

With all her family


Her brother toddles past

As she straightens her favourite dress

She's worn it for so long now

It's become a bit of a mess!


She twirls past her Granda 

Whose eyes begin to shut

There'll soon be squeeks & burps

From both his mouth & butt!


But Granda doesn't care

He dreams of long ago

To being just a lad

Knee deep in crunchy snow


It was the claggy stuff too

That held together great

Perfect for making snowballs

For throwing at your mates!


Sadly, most friends have passed

But they visit in his dreams

Still cheeky little monkeys

With mischievous little schemes


And they all build a snowman

With nose and eyes of coal

And sat upon its head

Is mother's missing bowl!


He then jumps on a rickety sledge: 

Made from bits of broken pallet,

cobbled together with rusty nails

And a little wooden mallet 


Mam waits in the doorway;

Foot tapping on the floor

Her hand is raised, waiting:

His lugs are gonna be sore!


Better late than never, though

And in time for Christmas roast

Meat & veg are very nice

But it's pudding he loves the most!


Leaping from bed that morning

He'd bounded down the stairs

In the hope that under the tree 

There'd be more than apples & pears


And he saw that there was!

So he did a little dance

His bare bum wiggled side to side

Cos he'd forgot to put on his pants!


There was,

Fisher-price Little People

And faces for a spud!

A Matchbox car: so real

He'd climb inside if he could!


A book for drawing stuff

And one for colouring in

Paper bags of boiled sweets:

And Black Bullets in a tin!


And then, a leather Casey

As heavy as Dad's head

He'd kick it all day & night

(The Casey, not Dad's head)


Sitting, sucking a Black Bullet,

He admired the little tree

It had a few bows & ribbons 

But never a Xmas light did it see


But, he loved that little tree;

So resolute throughout the years

It witnessed many changes

Joy, laughter, loss & tears 


Then out popped the lovely sweet

And spun upon the floor

And When he went to pick it up

He saw his hands were young no-more 


And his chest now felt heavy

As Mam & Dad gathered around

His Sister, not-yet-born, was there

Sporting an old familiar frown 


And then his stern-faced wife appeared

Her, he loved like no other,

'You'll get them four strands cut first

'You bloody, daft old bugger!'


Then, voices drift like embers 

Floating up through veils of time 

'Wake up Dad! Please wake up!'


A haunting little rhyme


' I think I'll just stay here'

But, Mam gently shakes her head

'Not yet, my precious boy,

there's still things left unsaid.'


Then a small hand slips into his

And Sophie's blue eyes smile

' C'mon Granda, I'll take you back

' You'll join us in a while.'


His old eyes then fly open

And he gasps a hungry breath

'What the bloody hell's going on?

'You're shaking me to death!'


But he sees his daughter's tearful eyes

And the photo she holds firmly

Of a little girl in her favourite dress

Taken far too early


' I'm goin' nowhere, yet,' he says

'I won't drop dead & spoil it!

Sophie loved this time of year

So, let's try & enjoy it!''


And with a hug, off he went

To get his 'arse over the pot'

And try his best to remember 

A dream that he could not


Later, they ate turkey sarnies

And drank wine & beer

And tried to enjoy every second

For those no-longer here


And Sophie was in every breath

And each and every smile

She was the twinkling of the lights

That Made Christmas 

Still worthwhile.         


Merry Christmas 🌲









◄ The Nasty Little Snowman

A Silhouette in Time ►


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Stephen Atkinson

Sun 13th Dec 2020 10:19

Thank you for the Like & comment M.C. Appreciated.
And Tony, Aisha, Stephen, & J.D. for the additional likes!

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 12th Dec 2020 21:19

Written with feeling and a true sense of what can be lost yet not forgotten. 🎈

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Stephen Atkinson

Sat 12th Dec 2020 09:47

Thank you for the encouraging comments!
Keith, always knew you were a Guinness & fart man 😉
Julie, hope you enjoyed your second read ( & didn't find too many faults 😲)
Po, hope you found some joy in this piece after the tears mate 🌈

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keith jeffries

Fri 11th Dec 2020 16:39


This poem will have great appeal as it is exquisitely written, wreathed in good humour and so appropriate for a dull grey winter's evening, still shrouded by the pandemic. It cheered my heart and caused a loud fart, but that could have been the Guinness.

You write so well and naturally also with a good sense of rhyming.
Thank you for this

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julie callaghan

Fri 11th Dec 2020 15:33

Beautiful, you brought tears once again. I will read it again when I have recovered. 😁

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