Charles Von Nordheim
Cataclysm Days: A Dispatch from the Interior Highlands
Some crisis reports commented on speech emitted by stones and clay and mud
One ignores the terrain when it complains like one ignores falling frogs from thin air
We would have followed this standard practice if left in our old shapes
But here events caused transfers across species, between animal and mineral
Friends sprouted fins, spouses revealed crustacean carapaces beneath shed skin
One finds it hard to hold the reins of civilization when hands become pinchers
One finds it hard to mourn ephemeral cares after their heart becomes enduring quartz
So, in this current conflation and inversion, let the soil speak if it wishes
Change makes one fear other issues than the spread of sentience across all boundaries
For example, genitalia shifted from pink vulva to yellow carpels
Makes one anxious about the revolutionary politics of mutant bees
Will post-cataclysm science distill nectars to deal with scorn of old rulers?
Will this overhauled humanity survive dominion of insect craft guilds?
One focuses far more assets on these concerns than gossiping rocks and sand
Charles Von Nordheim served in the US Air Force for 22 years as an F-4 radar mechanic. While he can neither confirm nor deny the warehousing of alien technology on hidden desert bases, but he can, as a result of his military experiences, attest to the mythically sweltering temperatures the Mojave can produce. Since 2007 Chuck has frequently sojourned to Lawrence, Kansas to attend the fiction-writing workshops sponsored by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. While he remains dubious that he learned anything useful about the craft of writing in Lawrence, he can verify receipt of excellent schooling in the appreciation of Kentucky whiskey and the work of shlock master Luigi Cozzi. Currently an MFA candidate at CSU San Bernardino, his fantastic fiction and poetry has appeared in Artifact Nouveau, 9Tales: Tales From Elsewhere, The Fable Online, Leading Edge, Three-Lobed Burning Eye, Illumen, Ealain, Twisted Tongue, and Daily Science Fiction.
Editor’s Notes: Sand & clay mine, Montgomery Co, AR (photography by Daniel Davis) and two red rose quartz hearts mined from the Norcross-Madagascar quarry: Some crisis reports commented on speech emitted by stones and clay and mud…One finds it hard to mourn ephemeral cares after their heart becomes enduring quartz