Valentine’s Day is looming and love is in the air. So our competition this week is a profile for an online dating website for a well-known politician, living or dead. Please leave entries (of up to 150 words) in the comments, below, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday on 12 February.
Last week, you were invited to compose an address to an item of food – inspired by Burns’s ‘Address to a Haggis’, that ‘Great chieftain o the puddin’-race’, but you were not obliged to write in his style. Albert Black went for a Kipling-Burns mash-up and other competitors drew on Shelley and Shakespeare.
Jim Hayes, Martin Parker, Mae Scanlan, Philip Machin and David Cram were unlucky losers. The winners below earn £25 each and Basil Ransome-Davies pockets £30.
Eggs Benedict, you pop my cork!
I’m immune to the charms of a black-buttered
Or a Frenchified way with roast pork.
A confit de canard is not my soul-mate —
A touch would embarrass my fork —
While lapin au cidre I candidly hate,
But I put out for you on our very first date
In that old luncheonette in New York.
In your lemony Hollandaise dress
That clung to your contours like satin or moire
You were succulence yoked with finesse,
Divine, thaumaturgic, a luminous star
Draped on bacon and toast. I confess
That my heart madly throbbed like a rhythm
And to stay on my stool I grabbed hold of the
As I breathed an incredulous Yes!
Some Scottish blood I claim — the snag is
This night when Scotsmen fly the flag is
Inexorably linked with HAGGIS,
And that to me
Simply a stomach-turning bag is,
A dish to flee.
And even if that wasn’t satis
They add revolting NEEPS and TATTIES
(Plus booze which to indulgent fatties
Is genius loci).
Let me invoke my option — that is,
The humble smokie:
This little treasure from Arbroath
Fulfils my Scottish leanings, loth
To damn the pride of Caledonia
(Granted my choice is somewhat bonier…)
Shall I compare thee to a sausage roll?
Nay, thou art tastier and more refined;
Thine outer substance is the very soul
Of pastry: art and nourishment combined.
Thy golden crust that crumbles in the fingers
Before ’tis swallowed by the eager throat;
Thy richly-buttered redolence that lingers
Upon the palate like a velvet coat.
And in thy tender heart, what creamy sauces
Embracing shrimps or sweetbreads may be
What need have I of other meats or courses
With these piled up before me in a mound?
I’d gladly gorge on thee throughout the day –
O vol-au-vent! Thou art the nonpareil!
Sweet cupcake, tell me, whereof art thou made – What eggy, floury, butt’ry blend does duty
Beneath thy swirling icing’s cavalcade
Of sweetmeats, silver balls and morses fruity?
Oh temptress fair, thy flesh’s not yet debased,
Thy ruby cherry is as yet unpluck’d,
And yet my fingers creep, thou art uncased,
One tiptongue taste – alack, the diet’s fluck’d.
But nay, my organ shrinks behind my teeth,
Sweet softness palls, thou canst no longer tempt.
To greedier arrant knaves I thee bequeath,
Henceforth from tawdry froth am I exempt.
Thou’rt insubstantial, naught but gaudy
Fly hence my cupcake, get thee to a bunnery.
As we raise a glass to Rabbie, you’re the one I
you’re delicious, you’re seductive, as you gleam
upon the plate
and I’ll put up no resistance, you’re the one I
I salute you, veggie burger, you’re delectably the
For you’re packed with soya protein, fighting fit
and full of beans,
with emulsifying substances, assorted carotenes
and a flavoursome enhancer (an extracted form
plus a host of added vitamins – and nothing
So there won’t be any gristle or unmentionable
in a masterpiece that demonstrates the culinary
and I’m confident there’ll not be any badger bits,
for the Soil Association will have verified the
With a tantalising texture, more provocative
and a ravishing aroma, you’ll become the festive
you’ll be served up in a bun that’s non-GM and
and revered by all who worship at the shrine of
Dear quiv’ring, shiv’ring, blushing guest,
How very sweet of you to come!
All yielding like a mother’s breast
And wobbly as a cherub’s bum.
Though you come late, you’re never least.
Welcome, sweet pudding, to our feast.
You’re in great shape. Your colour’s fine.
– No matter that you’ve lost your waist! –
My!, how you glow by candleshine!
The world can see you have good taste.
‘Spirit of Beauty’, to quote Shelley,
You’re welcome at our table, jelly!