You seemed to embrace the latest challenge – to supply seriously misguided love poems – especially wholeheartedly, and I admired your powers of invention in finding so many ways of making my toes curl. Even Brexit got a look-in: ‘Let me be your Brexit backstop/ I will never set you free…’ (Ian Barker).
Dishonourable mentions go to Hamish Wilson and David Shields. The winners take £25 each. The extra fiver is Brian Murdoch’s.
Let me compare thee to this bag of chips,
For you are as desirable. They taste
Just slightly salty, like a woman’s lips
And steam invitingly, fresh, hot, and chaste.
In shape each single chip is uniform
And you are also slim, pale, not too long,
And nicely firm. Your body is as warm
As these. The night is young, I’ll walk along
The High Street with your image in my hand,
Until we meet at the appointed hour
Outside the cinema. We’ll enter, and
With chip-fuelled kisses I shall you devour.
I need no pickled onions nor brown sauce
But you alone, for love to take its course.
When I my rich, ripe love for thee declare,
With gasp and wrinkled nose thou dost recoil
As from a cheese whose pungency doth spoil
The appetite. Yet I am gourmet fare.
I’m Stinking Bishop, Roquefort, Camembert.
I’m Époisses de Bourgogne, Pont-l’Évêque.
Some nostrils cannot bear the merest speck
Of me, but on the tongue, I’m gourmet fare.
Thine outward aspect, like thy heart, is fair,
Whereas the world perceives me rank and rude,
As if my rind some foul stench did exude.
One mouthful, though, will prove me gourmet fare.
Thou think’st thou canst not love me. Au
Yes, I’m a taste it takes time to acquire,
But I foresee reciprocal desire.
Prepare thy palate for my gourmet fare.
Dearest love, fear not, I’m coming,
Hammer-like my heart is drumming,
Rapture surges through my plumbing,
Pipes engorged with raging sap,
Sap which you could be immersed in,
Liquid lust within me bursting,
Nectar to assuage your thirsting,
Come, my sweet, and turn the tap!
Those who’ve chosen to resist me,
Unaccountably dismissed me,
Might have witnessed, had they kissed me,
Passion pouring from my font,
Now, no part of me concealing,
All my manliness revealing,
Take me, and you’ll soon be feeling
More than you could ever want.
Partners in our crimes of passion,
Here we stand before the crowd —
Full of pride and self-possession,
Bloodied, maybe, not unbowed —
How we two are bound together!
How we love our happy knot!
Let us praise our perfect tether:
Both of us are hot to trot —
Listen to the preacher praying,
As we wait, excited, high —
Soon we will be swinging, swaying
Underneath a bright blue sky —
We’ll have time to gasp, and loudly,
Breathing hard, our feet set free —
Oh full throttle! We’ll jig proudly,
Launched into eternity!
You are as lovely as a rose,
The fairest of your gender.
I yearn to free you from your clothes
And fondle your pudenda.
You are my goddess, nonpareil,
As Beatrice was Dante’s.
I’d be ecstatic to unveil
What’s underneath your panties.
In ardent dreams, more sweet than all
The perfumes of Arabia,
You let your pretty knickers fall;
I depilate your labia.
My love for you is strong as steel,
As deep as the Atlantic.
Can you return the love I feel,
Or am I too romantic?
Come to me, my sweet, romance
is there for you inside my pants.
I’m master of erotics!
And you will find within my shorts
no trace of cankers or of warts.
God bless antibiotics!
Come let me stroke your hair and kiss your lips
And hold you till we feel as though we’re one,
Undo your skirt and slide it past your hips
And lay on top of you until I’m done,
And if we like this, you can be my wife —
Or, in these gender-equal times, my spouse —
To share the fine accoutrements of life:
Cars, phone bills, home appliances, and house.
We’ll raise our kids and do the best we know,
Try not to screw them up or let them lack
For anything important. They will grow
And leave us without ever looking back.
Soon, age will overtake us. None can duck it.
And you can nurse me till I kick the bucket.
Your next challenge is to supply a new anthem to welcome 2019, starting with the first line of ‘Auld lang syne’ and continuing in your own way for up to a further 15. Please email entries to email@example.com by midday on 7 December. The early deadline is because of the seasonal production schedule.