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I had expected a plethora of pieces based on the apparent contents of  Take-Us-As-You-Findus-Beef-Lasagne.  But scarcely a single horse made it to the starting line. Nor did the celebrated Ronseal slogan get much of an airing.
But varied ingenuity replaced the expected approaches to this challenge. Thus you will find below -- and in no particular order -- verses featuring Andy Warhol, krypto-xanthins, potential botulism in the case of possible National Emergency, a threat of love,  and the dark secret of the 99% of all known germs who have read what it says on the bottle.

My love is like a tin from Heinz
with 57 sorts
of recipes which, she opines,
spice amatory sports.

Her product range, it seems, commands
a wide enough variety
for satisfying Love's demands
for tantric male satiety.

Now old, I find a single kiss
enough for amatory heaven.
But she's proposed a night of bliss
with products one to fifty-seven.

Imagine, if you can, the spot
of bother I'll be in
surviving while she does just what
it says upon her tin.

Leo Vincent

I’m painting cans of Campbell’s Soup
(Tomato, Beef, and other gloop),
Assembled in a massive group,|
Signed “Andy Warhol”, “Andy ...”

“Can Campbell’s Soup can Campbell’s Soup?”
I chant my mantra’s mindless loop
And give my sycophantic troop
Dom Perignon and brandy.

It’s boring, painting cans of soup,
I feel my eyelids start to droop;
But if the finished work can dupe
The critics, then it’s dandy.

Next week, I’m painting doggy-poop;
I’ll need to use a metal scoop -
An empty can of Campbell’s Soup
Will come in very handy.

Brian Allgar

The contents listed on the tin
Would make an undertaker grin;
But as for me, I’ll take my chances
With benzoates and taste-enhancers.

The Codex Alimentarius
Gives krypto-xanthins I devour
A passing grade, along with various
Erythorbates of soybean flour.

What isn’t listed on the tin
Is what I fear will do me in;
The mean and nasty sort of stuff
That gets sneaked in when times are tough -

The eye of newt, the wool of bat,
The dung of hens, and rodent scat,
The flesh of dying Gallic horse;
And tongue of dog and cat, of course.

Douglas Brown

That tin at the back of the cupboard is
some part of our iron rations,
though its contents clearly lack the fizz
we've asked from our foodie passions.

It must have moved house with us; the rust
doesn't enhance its appeal.
The best-before date might be under the dust.
I think it's still kept its seal.

The price label's faded, so making it out
needs powerful magnification.
Does it say one and sixpence? Yes! No doubt
it's well before decimalisation.

But no emergency yet requires
resort to whatever's within;
so we'll keep it in case something grisly transpires,
whatever it says on the tin.


D A Prince

OK- you think you know me, try
Your damndest then to make me die.
Just hit me with it; make my day;
Soak me completely with that spray.
You vastly underestimate
The way I stealthily mutate.
It really isn't very wise
Assuming you can sterilise
Each surface, plughole, crevice, crack.
You had me once but I bite back.
You think I'm still under your thumb
But I'm a new bacterium.

Sue Scott