Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 9,942 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Cod - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

In the stormy cauldron of the great North Sea
Your future supper swims in a finny swarm
Eerie. Succulent. The stand out British Meal
Second only to curry with chips

Topped and tailed, boned and skinned
Lathered in batter, crackled and fried
Transformed from a cold-eyed corpse
To joy on a plate

Let the ivory of your teeth savour each fishy morsel
Let your nose inhale the fragrance of the ocean

Timid British diner, stretch your menu
Try cod's roe, as an alternative option

A Frenchman dines on cod liver, cod offal
Norwegians love to gorge upon cod tongue
The Portuguese sit down to fish head soup

Asians sup cod intestines steamed with egg
Deep fried fish spines, fish lips braised in sauce
In China, fried fish skin is served with noodles

The Japanese are partial to Shirako
(‘White Child', the name they gave to cooked cod sperm)
Koreans fill their bowls with fish head curry

These are the hidden glories of the cod
Fish brains, bones, fish cartilage and fat
Provide the world with calcium, Vitamin A
Omega-3. and iron, zinc such riches!

When next you come to table
Hunger driven, think of your cod
Pre-slaughtered, Brown or green
Spots on the dorsal side, silver flashing
A stripe along its lissom lateral line

Think of it, in flowing aggregations
An you have tossed two thirds of it away
To landfill, after it died to give you food.

Topic(s) of this poem: fish

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2018

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