The earth fell on the earth. It looked like cloud
but it was dirt: the planet turning on itself.
Rock, slag, dust, earthgas, earthfire, earthwork.
A column of boiling stone. Ponderous.
From a distance thunderblue, but in itself earthdark,
grey, brown, black: a mountain inside out.
And the lightning struck, and struck, and struck.
Dancing like a hopjack strung up on the groundcloud,
the stoneplume, jagging between earth and earth,
the lightning struck, and struck, and struck.
The forest was dead in the first five minutes.
© 1983 by Ursula K. Le Guin
Reprinted with permission.