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You were challenged to produce a maximum of sixteen lines on the broad subject of leftover turkey.

Not a large entry for this post-Christmas plumbing of the cavernous depths of the annual tyrant of the table, and the tone, bar a couple, was generally jaded and jaundiced. No doubt it would have produced bile of a strength to match the metal-dissolving acid of a vulture’s stomach if sprouts had been coupled with the festive feathered fiend, or as Rosa Johnson’s entry put it, ‘the bird with the gigantic ego who longs to perform an encore’ and which left Stephen Diamond yearning for ‘a bite of chicken’.

An almost equally strong stomach was required by the judge who had to cope with the repeated references to Douglas Brown’s ‘vile pathogens and ample mold’, rot, decay, rancidity and revolting intestines (human). He survived the ordeal, however, and managed to pick out the following in no particular pecking or puking order.


Behold the dog, once bright and perky,
laid low by our unwanted turkey.

And there’s the wife, who thought it quirky
to ply the dog, once bright and perky,
with fifteen pounds of dodgy turkey.

The vet, suspecting something murky,
quizzed the wife who’d thought it quirky
poisoning the dog (once perky)
with bowls of stale and rancid turkey.

And here I sit, in Albuquerque,
dining well on chips and jerky,
far from the vet who probes the murky
deed of wife who’d deemed it quirky
to kill the dog, once bright and perky,
with our unwanted, rotting turkey.

Peter Goulding

Christmas is all done and dusted. Yippee!
I thought of you all and suspected, like me,
you'd been beerily, blearily, wearily pissed,
groggily, soggily, snoggily kissed
and heartily, partily, fartily sick
of every too-festive Tom, Harry and Dick
and presents which came with no sign of a battery
and kids throwing up and of cheap tinselled tattery:
and bored to the depths of despair, as was I,
with turkey as rissoles and curry and pie
and vol au vents, sandwiches, pancakes and soup
and long past their eat-by-date platefuls of gloop --
while ragged and gaunt, as each fridge will attest,
the carcass lived on like the Marie Celeste.

Leo Vincent


Hi- I’m the left-over turkey
Just strutting around on my own.
All the others have long since departed-
Now they’re nothing but gristle and bone.

I was not worth the bother of cooking-
No meat on my thighs or my chest.
I was always so skinny and scrawny
Which, in retrospect, was for the best.

For I have no real burning ambition
To be slaughtered and basted in grease.
I just want to meet people and travel
While hopefully, all in one piece!

So I’m hatching a cunning escape plan
And I don’t want to leave it too late
As I now have a sneaking suspicion
That I’m finally putting on weight.

Sue Scott


There’s those of us who’d rather scoff an owl
Than you, great snooded New World gobble-fowl!
Your dinner debut bordered on a flop
(We’re never going back to that damned shop!)
But now, disgusting, carbonised beneath,
Your desiccated corpse defies the teeth
And leaves the bowels, to put it bluntly, loose–
Next Christmas we’ll experiment with goose.

Jo Scutch


Leftover turkey is laid back and restful,
Unlike the First Time, when one has a nest full
Of folks of all ages, who carry on high
For a drumstick, or giblets, or pieces of thigh.

Leftover turkey is everyone’s friend,
An easy and most serendipitous blend
Of pasta and veggies and gravy and bird,
Commingled with spices and then gently stirred.

Leftover turkey is nice when it’s quiet,
And one’s not concerned about anyone’s diet.
First a libation to mellow the mood,
And then a fine wine to embellish the food.

Leftover turkey is everyone’s fave
From early post-cradle straight unto the grave.
The problem, of course, is just how to avoid
The original process of cookin’ da boid.

Mae Scanlan


How do I hate you? Let me count the ways.
Your stripped carcass stares at me for endless days.
I use bits of you to make a tasty soup,
But somehow it becomes a tasteless gloop.
Turkey casserole, turkey hotpot, turkey stew –
They’re all the bloody same and make me spew.
I use you cold to make the children’s sarnies
(Just the start of many childish barneys).
We have you with rice, with pasta and noodles –
My son claims they look like entrails of poodles.
Even when you’re smothered in cranberry sauce,
You still taste like you came from the back of a horse.
Finally you’re gone two weeks into New Year,
Though your after effects are still blighting my rear!

Tracy Davidson


Curse East Yorkshire’s William Strickland!
Let no voice emit a ‘Bravo!’
He’s the fool who brought this sick land
Meleagris gallopavo!

L.A. Mereoie