Codswallop Stew

by Anna Cates

In a maritime village
Harbored in mountain shadow
An old fisherman eats
His codswallop stew

Each fishy silence to foghorn blast
He savors the nonsense
Seasoned with butter and bacon
The potato and leeks

That cod-man is you
Who share the same reek
Succumb to the same grave-rot
Drown in the same codswallop stew

Anna Cates lives in Ohio with her two beautiful kitties and teaches English and education online, including graduate level courses in creative writing. Her first full length collection of haiku and other poems, “The Meaning of Life,” is available at Cyberwit.net and Amazon: http://www.cyberwit.net/authors/anna-cates. Poems by Anna Cates are also available in the “Living Haiku Anthology”: http://livinghaikuanthology.com/poet-portfolios/290-c-poets/anna-cates.html

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “CODSWALLOP STEW”?

Sometimes, I become intrigued by unusual vocabulary words that inspire me to write. “Codswallop” was a term I ran into online that interested me. It means “nonsense,” but it sounds like a chowder fishmongers would dine on in quaint Maritime villages. . . As I considered the word further, I decided I simply had to write a poem about it. I derived at “Codswallop Stew.”


Congrats to Christopher Allen for having a work from HOUSEHOLD TOXINS being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now CLOSED. Check out our new category triptychs! The next submission period opens September 15, 2019; submit here.


08/19 • Nick Ackerson
08/21 • Tyler Friend
08/22 • Nance Van Winckel (7 of 8)
08/26 • Suzanne Verrall
08/28 • Amelia Wright
08/29 • Nance Van Winckel (8 of 8)
09/02 • Kim Peter Kovac
09/04 • Ugonna-Ora Owoh
09/05 • Richard Baldasty (1 of 4)
09/07 • Briel Felton
09/12 • Richard Baldasty (2 of 4)
09/14 • Frances Badgett
09/19 • Richard Baldasty (3 of 4)
09/26 • Richard Baldasty (4 of 4)
10/03 • J.I. Kleinberg
12/02 • Tara Campbell