_ I How will I know you or will you know me?When every bird has hurtled to the ground,When every whale and every fish has drowned,And every beast, engaged in killing spreeHas eaten every one that cannot flee;When all our merchant ships have run agroundWhose crews, surviving tidal wave have foundOn land no respite any more than we Can find remission in abyssal deeps,Aloft among the Himalayan steeps,Long buried in the pure Antarctic snowsOr stranded on remoter polar floes.Into its scorching core may I be hurledIf so I cannot find you in this world. X II Where will you be at the last trumpet call,At Armageddon’s final martial blast?From Babel, Ur and Jericho each vastAnd monumental last great city wallWill fail, the unassailable will fall,Our ship will sink no matter how steadfastThe helmsman or his years before the mast,Should hurricane force twelve or worse befall. Then siren-like the sounds while we count down,Submerged, how long it takes to choke and drown,Then strand on foreign sand reborn as weUpon some lorn sequestered isle and beThe mistress she as I the master ofThe raging seas and raging skies above? X III When will I find you at the end of time?Among our ancient forebears in their gravesWith cavemen, longbow men and galley slaves,And men-at-arms deep in primordial slime.Those fletchers, coppersmiths, the sweeps who climbOur chimneys, ploughmen, publicans and knaves;The bowyer strings his bows, the paviour pavesThe pavements and the poet pens the rhyme. And so much talent, skills long since forgotLie mouldering still in peat and claggy soil,In tons of earth in every garden plotThe produce of our tireless sons of toil.And bound below each mound deep undergroundProfoundly sleeping, talents lie unfound. X X Peter Hartley is a retired painting restorer. He was born in Liverpool and lives in Manchester, UK.