The Ghost of Christmas Past

will you send me

a cute cat in a tree

Christmas card

bought from Woolies

in a box of fifty

printed on thin paper

slightly out of focus

cheap and purply?


will you fill my stocking

with a tangerine

some wrinkled walnuts

a Matchbox hot rod car

coloured crayons

chocolate coins

a pair of silly socks

sweets and little things?


will Santa bring me

an orange Chopper bike

some Scalextric track

a new football

togs and pads

or a hamster

in a cage with straw

and running wheel?


will I sleep tonight

with eyes tight shut

sheets pulled high

night light on

in my box bedroom

with pop posters

on the yellow woodchip walls

and teddy next to me?


will the adult voices

in the hall downstairs

please quieten down

and say goodbye

to the next door neighbours

replace the tele mumble with

footsteps and secret whispers

of tipsy parents going to bed?


will Christmas ever be

as magical as this again

for when I was a 70’s child

there never was any worry for me

of buying the latest gadget technologies

from shopping centres packed with madness

or caring for our elderly parents

and getting right those turkey timings?


so will the Ghost of Christmas Past

Come in! Come in!

and know me better

now I’m a man

and look upon me

as never before

and find the boy

that lives no more?



(AA Gill is away)

I know I know

I shouldn’t read the Sunday Times

Not when it’s one of Murdoch’s multifarious crimes

But AA Gill when he was not away

Could always be relied upon to make my day


I know I know

He was Clarkson’s pal

And I know I know it’s slightly irrational

But I kinda like Clarkson too

Both him and Gill breaking taboos


I know I know

He was often a pompous twat

With his crooked smile and critic’s hat

To all the bad restaurants he caused harm

The Blonde his accomplice on his arm


I know I know

I also have a thing for Camilla Long

Another one of Murdoch’s throng

Her with the specs and extra-large fonts

Times New Roman for all your movie wants


I know I know

I should be a Guardian reader

And not give money to that Aussie bleeder

But AA’s words always made me smile

Dyslexic, acerbic, slightly juvenile


I know I know

I will miss him so

Unlike Clarkson with his Grand Tour show

I hope Ms Camilla takes his place

With charm and wit and social grace


(AA Gill is away)


28th June 1954 – 10th Dec 2016