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C is for Cyanide.....

A favorite of mystery writers, suicidal Nazis and homicidal nobles.

Occurring naturally in the fruit stones/seeds of Apples, Peaches, Mangoes and Apricots, cyanide took its name when the dye Prussian Blue was accidentally created, containing iron and a then unknown agent-cyanide. The iron-containing compound was named ferrocyanide, or, 'blue substance with iron'... and when the compound was analyzed and the iron removed, the resulting leftovers were cyanide.

The world of mystery literature is dotted with this bitter almond-flavored poison and the killers' continued attempts to disguise the poison's almond flavor and aroma.

A quick way to end one's existence and prevent the "imagined horrors worse than death," it was nothing for this handy little poison, in capsule-form, to find its way crushed between the teeth of those fleeing capture and torture. The Goebbels fed the capsules to their five children before taking their own lives. Even the Fuhrer, himself, made use of the handy suicide pill.

Cyanide is pretty lethal, pretty quick. Though, there's been at least one case of deliberate cyanide poisoning that's baffled historians-- that of The Mad Monk, Rasputin, mystic and healer to the Romanov household during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II.

When Rasputin's intentions were believed to be a threat to the Romanov's power, plans to do-away with the Monk by a group of nobles and politicians were formed. Though, after being fed enough cyanide to kill five men, with no sign of the poison slowing him down, his would-be executioners were forced to try several more drastic measures to rid Russia of one of its threats.

Cyanide Sighs

Sleep now, hear not the morning's call,
close your eyes against the night,
feel my hands hold you tight,
hush now, make no whispered sound at all.

Think not, of bad dreams that might come,
sip the last of bitter tea,
cling once more, my love, to me,
fear not, all your troubled days are done.

                                                                                              --- e.a.s. demers


  1. Cyanide, the poison for when you're feeling blue....

    1. LOL...oh my, so true and so poetically delicious :-)

  2. Visiting here from A to Z Challenge! Love the blog and look forward to reading your updates for each of the following days! I am now following your blog as well so I don't miss any updates! Reading posts prior to the challenge as well :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for following along... will stop by your blog soon! Good luck with the A-Z!!

  3. Clever. I do love a good poison. Not that I'm admitting anything...

    1. Who doesn't love a good poison....not, that I'm admitting anything, either :-)

  4. We used to cook the apricot nuts along with the pulp when making jam when I was a child. Mother said it was good for us. No harm done. I guess I have a good constitution like Rasputin. Haha.

    1. Well, you very well may have a reinforced constitution and a tolerance for certain levels of cyanide, thanks to your mother, lol.... bet she never thought she'd be building your resistance to a deadly poison...

  5. Dear Poison Pen,

    My wife keeps feeding me almonds, even though I don't like them. She says it's an acquired taste, that I must acquire. Also, she recently told me that "blue is my color." Then laughed. A lot. Should I be worried?

    Illin' in Illinois

    P.S. As I read Cyanide Sighs, I heard it sung in the voice of Amy Lee from Evanescence...

    1. Dear Illin' in Illinois,

      I wouldn't worry until your wife gives you something that tastes/smells like almonds, but that has no almonds in it. Then I would worry A LOT...and quickly, because you probably won't have time to worry very much.

      She hasn't purchased any formal blue suits for you, has she?

      Poison Pen

      P.S.... Now I'm hearing Amy Lee in my head singing all my poems--- thanks for that :-/

  6. I'm feeling a chill from that poem. Maybe Rasputin had a natural immunity towards cynnide. Could he have built up his immunity the way we do with vaccinations or eating the right kinds of plants?

    Is it wrong that I am so fascinated by your poisonous posts?

    Play off the Page

    1. There is some that believe that Rasputin did purposely build his own tolerance to poisons by ingesting minuscule amounts over time-- a bit like venomous snake-handlers will inject trace amounts of venom to build tolerance. Rasputin was a paranoid old monk, that's for sure... and with good reason, apparently.

      And, it's no more wrong for you to be fascinated by my poisonous posts than it is for me to have written them in the first place---- not sure what that says about us, lol...


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