The refugees from an Apocalypse yet to happen
are flooding through the time-gate in bloodied rags,
marked by the Antichrist, trembling from earthquakes,
scorched by stars and planets crashing to earth,
chewed and spat out by dragons with various heads,
nibbled by locusts.
Tens of thousands have already perished en route
and most who reach their past are denied sanctuary:
after all, it’s their fault they weren’t among the Elect.
The future can hardly be blamed on us, can it?
A select few we save, those who bring with them
knowledge of soon-to-be-discovered technologies,
oh, and the plumbers.
The others – the godless, hairdressers, authors –
are shoved back,
whingeing they can’t win on either side of history.
Afterwards, if you press your ear against the door
and listen carefully, I have heard it said,
you can hear the trumpets, distantly, from the other side.
Jonathan Taylor is an author, lecturer, editor and critic. This poem features in his forthcoming poetry collection, Cassandra Complex, which explores ideas of prophecy, and which will be published by Shoestring Press in Summer 2018.