At The Gates

2 min readJul 22, 2022


~ a poem about humanity

The Barbarians are coming!
The Barbarians are coming!!

An ancient city prepares for a siege

At the cross of the equator,
Under an infinite blue sky,
Surrounded by trees and hills,
The castled jewel of an empire
Battens downs hatches and builds higher walls

From the north, a raging fire
From the south, a horde of blades
From the east, a growing storm
From the west, a sickness of the heart

Warriors rush to the battlements
Precursor peoples drown into the moat
Farmers form guerilla toons at the outskirts
Outsiders and immigrants are exiled and executed

The birds are constantly migrating and circling over head
The wolves are baying and barking and biting hands

Priests and policemen and politicians,
Shaping our wills and labors,
Commit us to a course we must not waver from

These stones house our families
Everyone plays a role
Keep your heads down and off the horizon
Listen and our leaders will protect us!

The Barbarians are coming
Bloody rains soon to commence
The Barbarians are coming
Locusts will swarm our fields
The Barbarians are coming
Daemons are melding into our world

We must not harbor a single child!
We must fight tooth and nail to protect our way of life!
We must defeat this apocalypse
With minds willing to split the atom between good and evil
With hearts braced for the necessary sacrifice
With souls lit up by a love of God and country

There are Barbarians at the gates, citizen
Corrupted by the wastes,
Abandoned by god forever,
With hellmouths that chew pandemonium and drink blood,

You must ensure not a single fiend joins us inside our walls.

We must kill ’em all before the rains, locusts, and daemons arrive.
We must kill ’em all before it is too late…

There are Barbarians at the gates!
And now you can even see them:

Tired, poor, wretched
Huddled in masses yearning to breathe free
Homeless and tempest-tossed

They march ferociously to our golden door!

Manned at the dim and dusty lamp which greeted,
You hear a gruff voice behind issue a simple command next to your name:

“Pour the pitch, Dick.” ~