(1) Permanent Warehouse of Souls
On 25 February Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras spoke out against ‘the transformation of our country into a permanent warehouse of souls’. In the wider context of vastly increased migration into Greece from the East, Tsipras’ comment was directed specifically at European heads of state continuing to ‘act at summits as if there is nothing wrong’ while tightening border controls along routes into northern Europe – effectively demobilising migrants and turning Greece into the European Union’s storage bin for refugees.
Upend the marathon road north from Athens to Macedonia.
Raise it and plane it to the perpendicular.
Now it’s one long tall shelving unit of previously scattered souls,
Scanned and ready for despatch; if only we knew where to send them.
Heads in a noose because really what’s the use; or perhaps half-grown men, migrants from Pakistan, half-hanging themselves in order to gain our full attention.
Near-suicide – noted.
Note the consistently quiet desperation of migrants crowded into Athens’ Victoria Square. Whispers and murmurs building occasionally to bouts of ululation, before subsiding again.
Looking down at those uninvited beach boys,
Who paid good money to have themselves washed up on Mediterranean sand,
Some hard-pressed Greeks can only hear this sound wave as bar-bar-barbarism.
And who can blame them?
(2) Life and Soul of the Warehouse
‘Wandering around for 10 hours scanning and stowing items really does eat away at your soul.’ This former warehouse worker at Amazon’s Dunfermline depot reports ‘long hours with depression guaranteed.’
Surely preferable to the threat of deportation, as above; although another Amazon ex-employee declares she would ‘prefer to starve rather than go back there again’.