Rajnish Mishra… Bowl’s Best Friend

 

Bowl’s Best Friend

 
Did you know that glass can store all acids but one?
Hydrofluoric acid eats glass up.
It’s called corrosion in chemistry.
Interesting sound: co-rro-sion,
and interestingly, it reduces weight.
What’s more, this villain of an acid
causes permanent tissue death on contact.
 
Hydrochloric acid is harmless, comparatively.
It’s stored in glass bottles, you see!
It’s a cousin of hydrofluoric, yes but does nothing
sinister: no glass corrosion nor permanent tissue death.
It’s so harmless that it’s produced and stored
in every body of every nation, in all civilizations
where humans have a stomach.
What does it do there?
It kills microbes there and does something to protein:
‘denature’ is the word in zoology.
Interesting sound: de-na-ture,
and interestingly, it’s natural.
 
It’s a good friend, this hydrochloric acid.
It’s a good servant too.
It can’t corrode glass and stomach wall
but does a good job over toilet bowls.
Corrosion gives the surface sheen,
removes the outermost layer in direct contact
with the world and filth with it.
 
To combine chemistry with zoology,
This mild ‘friendly’ thing denatures, corrodes,
combines with epidermal water,
releases heat, a lot of it, and severely burns
the largest organ in human body.
The standard instructions for its splash (accidental)
on skin are: ‘gently wipe it off, flush with water
and cover the area with a cloth moistened with baking soda’.
 
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Uganda, Cambodia, Afghanistan,
Palestine, France, Israel,
Iran, Zanzibar, Indonesia,
Greece, China and UK,
man’s best friend has at least one active and direct use.
 
Revenge is the motive that malignity cites in confessions
and statements later, much later. So proves the self-justified rage,
of the self-righteous man, yes it’s always a man
who throws hydrochloric acid, the friendly, harmless servant of mankind,
and burns layers, fifteen to twenty, of epidermis,
generally of a woman’s face, in all the countries
where its active and direct use is reported.
 
Nobody thought of writing instructions
against its more direct (active, planned and common) use.
 

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India. He is the editor of PPP Ezine, a poetry ezine. He has a blog on poetry, poetics and aesthetic pleasure: https:/poetrypoeticspleasure.wordpress.com.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Rajnish Mishra

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Afzal Moolla… Massacre at Houla

 

Massacre at Houla

 
She was no more than 10 years of age.
He could have been a grandfather.
 
Young, old, women, girls, men, boys.
 
108 lives.
 
Now they are buried,
in hurriedly dug graves,
on the plains of Houla.
 
Killed by knives,
shot at point-blank range,
slaughtered, mowed-down.
 
108 lives.
 
Snuffed-out. Decimated. Taken-out.
 
108 lives.
 
As Damascus lies blatantly,
spewing forth untruth,
108 warm, dead bodies,
remain buried,
in hurriedly dug graves,
on the plains of Houla.
 
108 lives.
 

Afzal Moolla was born in New Delhi, India while his parents were in exile, fleeing Apartheid South Africa. His father Mosie Moolla represented the African National Congress (ANC) in India, Egypt and Finland.

Afzal returned to South Africa following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. He works and lives in Johannesburg, and shares his literary musings with his most strident critic – his 12 year old cat – Scully.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Afzal Moolla

 
 
 
 
 
 

Valentina Cano… Hunting

 

Hunting

A question hovered
like paper in a breeze,
without direction, flat.
I looked at you
with your shirt of fishing nets.
Your smile tucked
like a gun on your face.
Your eyes, knife blades.
I wanted to speak.
I wanted to pry my lips open,
to allow the bubbles to surface
and burst open with screams.
Watching your hands
drop the work you carried,
scattering the fragments of thoughts like scents.
I closed my mouth again.
The trap was already sprung.
 

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, Super Poetry Highway. You can find her here: carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Valentina Cano

 
 
 
 
 
 

Valentina Cano… Purgatory Around a Table

 

Purgatory Around a Table

How is it this feeling has taken
over my very veins?
I am thrown out,
disposed of myself,
and filled with swamp water,
dark and brimming with flies.
I cannot sit still,
but rising burns my toes, my calves.
Even breathing has lost its charm.
My hands are stiff
and held at my sides like plates,
ready to smash themselves
to pieces against the wall.
My voice slashes upward in a scream.
The only sign of its sound,
the teetering of wine glasses.
 

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, Super Poetry Highway. You can find her here: carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Valentina Cano