Cultural Climate

At the centers of frozen lakes,
they built crystal palaces of ice
to demonstrate their faith that
climate was immutable. The study
of paleontology and geology was
outlawed; apostates were flung
into glacial rifts and moulins—
but certain academics concealed
ancient records and core samples,
pretended to illicit-but-winked-at
affairs in storage closets to mask
proscribed instruction. Long after
no laws could conceal the cascades
of meltwater or dwindling snows,
it was still fashionable, in those
shrinking, glassy realms, to burn
the wood of forest upon lost forest
in suspended cages of black iron,
to pretend to shudder with cold.

©2009 F.J. Bergmann

"Cultural Climate" first appeared in Strange Horizons

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