The Undertaking

by John Donne

I HAVE done one braver thing

      Than all the Worthies did ; 

And yet a braver thence doth spring, 

      Which is, to keep that hid.

It were but madness now to impart 

      The skill of specular stone, 

When he, which can have learn’d the art 

      To cut it, can find none.

So, if I now should utter this, 

      Others—because no more 

Such stuff to work upon, there is—

      Would love but as before.

But he who loveliness within 

      Hath found, all outward loathes, 

For he who color loves, and skin, 

      Loves but their oldest clothes.

If, as I have, you also do 

      Virtue in woman see,

And dare love that, and say so too, 

      And forget the He and She ;

And if this love, though placèd so, 

      From profane men you hide, 

Which will no faith on this bestow, 

      Or, if they do, deride ;

Then you have done a braver thing 

      Than all the Worthies did ; 

And a braver thence will spring, 

      Which is, to keep that hid.

It’s that time

That time he rescued her from the Hairy Ainu in the far north, by sheer force of personality.

And that time the pope broke wind.

When the first man was executed for jaywalking. 

The last Mohican got her wings clipped.

Half way to the next life, next way to the half life

I started to feel

I started to feel like I was burning a lot of calories. That’s the way it seemed.

Just a hot-head, a hopped-up juggernaut of the gods almighty, one toke over the line, drunk on power, powered on drink, down the hatch and devil take the hindmost.

Don’t take Moses’ word for it, for he was a little teched. And a ways down the line, his evil god died. He didn’t die laughing, like the other gods. Had his foot in his mouth, as we say here on earth.

Crown of Grass

No crown indeed has been a higher honour than the crown of grass among the rewards for glorious deeds given by the sovereign people, lords of the earth. Jewelled crowns, golden crowns, crowns for scaling enemy ramparts or walls, or for boarding men-of-war, the civic crown for saving the life of a citizen, the triumph crown—these were instituted later than this grass crown, and all differ from it greatly, in distinction as in character. All the others have been given by individuals and personally by generals and commanders to their soldiers, or occasionally to their colleagues, or have been decreed in triumphs by a Senate freed from the anxiety of war and by a people enjoying peace; the grass crown has never been conferred except upon the leader of a forlorn hope, being voted only by the whole army and only to him who rescued it. The other crowns have been conferred by commanders, this alone on a commander by his soldiers. The same crown is called the siege crown when a whole camp has been relieved and saved from awful destruction. But if the civic crown is deemed a glorious and hallowed distinction because the life has been saved of only one and even maybe the lowliest citizen, what, pray, ought to be thought of the preservation of a whole army by the courage of one man? This crown used to be made from green grass pulled up from the site where the besieged men had been relieved by some one. For in old times it was the most solemn token of defeat for the conquered to present grass to their conquerors, for to do so meant that they withdrew from their land, from the very soil that nurtured them and even from means of burial. This custom, I know, exists even today among the Germans.

Pliny 22 4

Mountain Bride

The story of a luscious hill girl who started a feud when she gave her heart to a city man. You read that right. Soon to be another picture with Rhonda Fleming and Joseph Cotton. Other stories by Peggy Gaddis are available from Cameo Books for thirty-five cents on the dollar.

Lockjaw

opisthotonus_in_a_patient_suffering_from_tetanus_-_painting_by_sir_charles_bell_-_1809

Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is an infection characterized by muscle spasms. In the most common type, the spasms begin in the jaw and then progress to the rest of the body. These spasms usually last a few minutes each time and occur frequently for three to four weeks. Spasms may be so severe that bone fractures may occur. Other symptoms may include fever, sweating, headache, trouble swallowing, high blood pressure, and a fast heart rate. Onset of symptoms is typically three to twenty-one days following infection. It may take months to recover. About 10% of those infected die.

Tetanus often begins with mild spasms in the jaw muscles—also known as lockjaw or trismus. The spasms can also affect the facial muscles resulting in an appearance called risus sardonicus. Chest, neck, back, abdominal muscles, and buttocks may be affected. Back muscle spasms often cause arching, called opisthotonos. Sometimes the spasms affect muscles that help with breathing, which can lead to breathing problems.

Prolonged muscular action causes sudden, powerful, and painful contractions of muscle groups, which is called “tetany”. These episodes can cause fractures and muscle tears. Other symptoms include drooling, excessive sweating, fever, hand or foot spasms, irritability, difficulty swallowing, suffocation, heart attack, breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, and uncontrolled urination or defecation.

Severe cases will require admission to intensive care. Human tetanus immunoglobulin injected intrathecally. Tracheotomy and mechanical ventilation for 3 to 4 weeks. Tracheotomy is recommended for securing the airway because the presence of an endotracheal tube is a stimulus for spasm. Magnesium as an intravenous infusion to prevent muscle spasm, Diazepam as a continuous IV infusion, The autonomic effects of tetanus can be difficult to manage (alternating hyper- and hypotension hyperpyrexia/hypothermia) and may require IV labetalol, magnesium, clonidine, or nifedipine. Drugs such as diazepam or other muscle relaxants can be given to control the muscle spasms. In extreme cases it may be necessary to paralyze the patient with curare-like drugs and use a mechanical ventilator.