The Time of No
The gray-faced pilgrims coming off the Athens boat
Are not expecting a cure this time.
Tinos is an island of miracles, but the essential
German one, the papers say, is not for the likes of them.
The young leader’s face on the ferry T V,
Lunar, stubborn, sardonic, disappointed, with just the shadow of a smile
As the news from the bourse ticks by below,
Seems to be attending to the suits across the table
With the look he perfected in a previous life
For the gym-trim, six-figure vice-chancellor with his plan
To digitize the library and double the footprint
Of the business school.
Surely some evil is near for the children of Priam.
Up the road in the dark Panaghia, where all the pale faces have gone,
To the left of the door there’s a light-hearted icon
With more than a touch of the eighteenth century to it,
A relief on a day like this.
The Fountain of Life, if you follow McGilchrist, is pouring its streams
On a strange crowd of invalids seated below;
And the youngest among them, off to the side in the melee, soft as Tsipras
And dressed in the same shapeless Kung Fu shirt,
Has a neo-liberal demon issuing from his mouth,
Gray as a wisp of garbage smoke. Up he goes.
If only Dijsselbloem and Schäuble could be exorcized as easily.
The wind from the mountain is blowing strong. The sun
Sucks the last moisture out of the air. Summer is a monster.
Then mid-afternoon on the seashore, Mein Schiff goes sailing by:
Two thousand passengers headed for Rhodes,
Name on the hull in merciless freehand,
Plastic faeces pouring uncontrollably from its 21-storey stern.
Ah, the good ship Austerity, that Creditor of the Seas!