For some reason, shoppers in my local Iceland freezer store remind me of T S Eliot’s The Hollow Men
Who are these shuffling men we often see, in Iceland’s aisles, buying tea,
A frozen meal and micro chips, pan loaves and potato crisps?
Who are these souls, lost to the world, what dreams lurk there, what plans unfurled?
Where have these feet in the packaging maze, trod and trudged, what sunsets seen, what morning haze?
Oh we are the hollow men, our voices soft,
We are the hollow men, invisible, mute, aloft,
We are in your streets but you do not see us,
You pass us in the dark, glimpsed faces on a crowded bus.
We are the fodder for cannons, the fuel for industry,
We are blind, dumb, written out of history.
These are the forgotten souls of Hades,
Stokers of the Satanic Mills of Shell and Mercedes,
They have no vengeance planned, no murder schemed,
Tho’ they have been right royally shafted, fucked and reamed.
We are the hollow men, eyeless in Gaza and chrome yellow,
Brideshead revisited, tender is the night and the song of the cello,
We dance to every broadcast tune, every mistress’ simper,
Till they lay us in our unmarked graves, not with a bang but a whimper.