Category Archives: @Radio4

Haiku: ‘Nine (Nein!’) by Gooneme Sangfroid

"Nine, my capitain!"
"Are you sure; we're outnumbered!"
"Nein, mon capitain!

I can count to nine
And then I have to stop there."
"But, why, Bluebottle?"

"Due to my fingers!"
"Your 'fingers!' Surely you've ten!"
"I have, mon hero!"

"Then why not count 'ten?'
"Because one was up my nose!"

"That is true, mon oeuf,"
"But, what about shoes and socks?"
"But, 'what' about them?"

"You could remove them,"
"Yes, I could do that it is,"
"Then count much higher,"

"I could count to twelve!"
"Twelve? How many toes have you?"
"I have 'ten' toes, why?"

"You could reach twenty!"
"If I count my toes?"
"Yes, with toes, 'twenty!' "

"But, mon Capitain,
If I count all of them..."
"Yes?" "Then..." "Yes?" "Nine!...ish!"

‘She’s Gone and Left Me!’ by Graeme (Who?) Sandford

Grae in Sorrento

‘She’s gone and left me…
I don’t know why…’

A haunting refrain from my teen years;
That was the stuff that made my life full of unendless cheers
They didn’t last long – those girls of then –
And they seemed to pass along, I don’t know when

They arrived, or how long they stayed;
I just turned around and their exits they’d made
An endless stream of final kisses
And each and every one was ‘this is…

The one!’ and then she wasn’t ‘the one’ or ‘there’
Wasn’t being a part of my life to share
Wasn’t answering the phone or replying to notes
Wasn’t gazing adoringly at that 2” x 1 ½” kiosk photograph
Of us crammed together – wasn’t sharing a laugh;




And I could write on for pages and pages about those girls from past ages
But, what would they write about me…
What would Jennifer, Clare, Jaqueline and Ann

Write about me…?

‘Graeme who?’

April the Third – No. ‘3’: Witches a ‘Lucky’ Number!


“Here! How come ‘you’re’ witch number three;
What makes ‘you’ so different to witch number one, or me?
You get all the best lines,
And have the last word-
Why don’t you go back to playing King Richard the Third?”

Well, me, I never wanted to be a witch in a play;
But, when you are old (and a crone), you do it for the pay.
I don’t ‘mind’ the theatre-
It’s a right laugh at ‘times’;
But, all this cooking’s making me hungry and, then, I ‘hubble-bubbles’ me rhymes!

I’m really a good person, “Ain’t that right, I ask you, Witch One?”
I’m always giving to charity and helping out people – and I joins in the fun.
But, the Bad and the Evil
In this play takes me breath,
And, if I have to cackle much more, it’ll do me a death.

Oh! Here comes our cue, get ready, me girls,
With your curses and potions and our literary pearls; and…

“…Where the place?”

“Upon the heath!”

“There to meet with Macbeth!”

Here we go again…
Off to meet the ‘Thane!’

Tabitha Fetches a Stick

Tabitha Fetches a Stick by Graeme Sandford


When she was a kitten, Tabitha shocked us by barking.

Now, one of the things that you are taught (or discover) in life is that cats miaow and dogs bark; sometimes even before you can count up to a gazillion. To have this fundamental tenet turned topsy-turvy and upside down on its head is to cause the mind to go into premature meltdown (minds generally go into meltdown much later in life) as much as black and white suddenly changing places or gravity to work in the opposite way – but we wouldn’t lose so many balloons, would we?

Tabitha not only barked; she fetched sticks; chewed upon bones; howled when outside; to be let in; chased parked cars; and loved being in the car with her head stuck out the window as the parked cars flew by.

We got used to her ways; but, people, meeting her for the first time; were taken aback at her growling; until she decided they were harmless; may have humpable legs; or were going to take her for a walk… on a lead. Tabitha is one in a… well, one in a huge number (perhaps very near a gazillion) when it comes to pets.

7 Things About Me

Seven things about me:

·      Whilst with the English Army in Danuphyu, Burmah, my great grandfather, George Sandford (who I am named after) was present at the signing of the Treaty of Yandabo which formally ended the First Anglo-Burmese War. I have a copy of that treaty upon my wall.

·      Having a rare blood group – ICAM-4 (Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-4 – formerly known as the Landsteiner-Weiner [LW] blood system type) I am on twenty-four hour alert if there is a need for my specific blood type for transfusion (it works both ways if I need a transfusion). I wear a ICAM-4 wrist tag.

·      I once spent three months of my life going undercover under an assumed name (Peter A. Weeks). I was found out when the people I was then associating with happened (whilst with me – by purest chance) to meet up with some friends from my past life – it all blew up amazingly!

·      Fundamental to my being is my writing. Upon occasion I have been known to have online arguments that include up to four of my created writing-voices. The credibility is in the writers (me) having clearly defined back stories and points of view. Many were fooled. I was reconciled to myself – eventually.

·      I seem to have the gift of being able to tell somebody’s age from just looking at their face – there is more to it than that, but to tell would take all the mystery out of it for you.

·      Prior to my current job in Hampshire County Council as a Creative Writing Co-ordinator, I was a plumber.

·      I have a deep fear of the colour Heliotrope and the letter ‘J’ but only when the two are combined – separately they are okay; even though I do sense a prickling in my thumbs when they are seen.   

Poetry Is a Game of Three Halves

Poetry 2

‘poetry is a game of three halves!’


“three halves!” you exclaim.


‘yes!’, I reply.


“so, if that is the case, when do you have the oranges?”


in poetry you don’t ‘have’ the ‘oranges’, because the rhymes are not there…


…in poetry… we have ‘limes’.


“okay! but what are the rules!”


the rules? they are many, and they don’t suffer fools.


gladly will I tell them to you, it will pass a moment or two


before my muse calls and the answer-phone kicks in.


“do your poems have to rhyme?”


all the time! or, not at all…. or when they like!


it’s a matter of style.


for some, the rules of poetic form are a guide,


behind and beyond which they can hide.


others decide to flaunt the rules,


taunt the tools of a decent poem.


in a recent poem, which I had the misfortune to see,


I saw the ‘poet’ (who apparently had feet of clay)


had written, so it seemed, that rhymes were all, (he must have been having an off-day)


but, he had missed the metre, the rhythm, the caesural pause,


avoided the basic laws, just to get a ‘how-now-brown-cow’


‘bish-bash, mish-mash’ sort of an effect, making for a rather ‘air-bourne-pink-sow’ defect.


‘I amb, you see, a man, in all, I say, or do, – or am I?’


reflect upon the Iambic metre of the above,


and did you espy the finale


with all the pterror of a Dactyl flying in to end it?


Charlotte Green’s Voice

My hands are sweating, my throat is dry,

There’s a quickened breathing, then a softened sigh,

I’m in love, and in this matter I have no choice,

I have been smitten by… Charlotte Green’s Voice


Beside the radio, from dusk till dawn

I listen avidly; all forlorn

If She’s not there.

I list again from dawn till dusk

To hear Her voice becomes a must.

Shipping forecast! “Dogger, Bite!”

Oh, what might, happen, oh, what might!  (Shakespeare, The Tempest)

The silky tone, the fluent word;

Her voice, in my head, must be heard.

I check the website for Her name,

I need to hear Her, which is my shame,

I’m fixated by Her speaking;

In Radio Times, I am now seeking:

Where can She be? Where is the One;

Who will set my heart free, or leave my soul undone?


And now I hear that She is to go

This was spoken on ‘Her’ radio

And soon no more shall She be heard

Her voice in my head, Her every word

Entering and possessing me will pass and fade

And, I must admit I am dismayed

For She has helped me through the night

With Her silken pronouncements and links so bright

I do not know what I shall do

When She speaks no more to me, – or you.