The Ghost of Christmases Past


The ghost of Christmases past is present in the low amber light of the solstice sun.

You make that journey every year, revisiting your childhood like a magus trekking over desert to lay golden gifts at the foot of a child-god.

What gifts have you for that most un-god-like of ghostly children?

You will be good and cheery and fulfil your obligations;

Your indulgences will not be extreme.

You will bolster the breached walls of your father’s house with care and love,

And rekindle the hearth fire and dancing candles that lit a childhood Christmas long ago.

The rich things of that kernel child inside will germinate anew,

And that green hopeful growth will propagate stem-for-stem,

And take hold in the filling chambers of your own sprung-off children.

It is a time for passing on your dwindling light.

Your scarce rays scorch a path through the night tunnel,

Advanced and retreated in time, a single chamber past and present,

Concentric circles set to flame by the ghostly touchpaper of Christmases past.


About ucronin

Born in the country town of Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland in 1975, I now live in Madrid with my partner and two young daughters and work in a research institute. While I was always a hungry reader and harboured vague notions of being a writer, as a young man writing was the furthest thing from my mind; after leaving school, I did a B.Sc. in Biotechnology in Galway's NUI, an M.Sc. in Plant Science in University College Cork and a Ph.D. in Microbiology in the University of Limerick, the plan being to dedicate my professional career to scientific research. While having written extensively within my technical scientific field, I had never contemplated becoming a writer of fiction until a road-to-Damascus moment on the N69 between Listowel and Tarbert, Co. Kerry in the summer of 2011. Since then, most of my spare time has been occupied with writing. In whatever other free moments I have, I like to listen to music, play the guitar and garden (which here in Madrid means a lot of watering of plants and spraying for red spider mite). My ambition is to become as good a writer as I possibly can, eventually freeing myself from the cold clutches of science and earning a living through my scribblings. The type of writing that excites me is honest, intelligent, well-constructed and richly descriptive.
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