Publication in ‘Crannog 33’

Eamonn SmallVery happy that my poem ‘Gale Force Winds on Main Street’ was selected for Crannog Magazine no. 33.  It deals with a topical issue: can rural town survive the arrival of Big Shopping Centres? As an an topic it’s been around for some time but lately seems all the more presssing since the return of emigration and the economic recession. I was driving through a small midland town recently and was shocked at the number of empty shop windows, closed-up houses and the general air of depression. That particular day there was also a gale-force wind funnelling down the main street and an old gent struggling against it with his plastic bag of shopping.  And then I thought ofCrannog 1 (2) the way some older people must be left quite alone in these towns, every able-bodied person having left if they can at all.

The launch was last Friday 28 June at the Crane Bar in Galway (as always) and I was delighted to be invited to read. Incidentally, I see the Crane Bar itself is ‘FOR SALE’. Nothing is safe anymore!

CraneBarFor Sale

Gale Force Winds on Main Street


This no wind for an old man to weather

down the main street of his midland town,

a wind that sends dead leaves and litter swirling,

screams around blind corners, sets the flags

to crack like gunshots over the empty pubs.


Like a soldier going over the top

he takes a breath and bends against a tempest

strong as any raged in Genesis

that time when God was stocking up the world

with brand new goods and opening up for business.


He pulls his cap down tightly. All the forecasts,

economic and meteorological,

are uniformly bleak. Above the gale

he hears the distant dual carriageway

that lured the local trade to shopping centres



He stumbles past the FOR SALE signs, TO LETs

and UP FOR AUCTIONSs, until finally

he shelters in the mercy of his doorway,

rests a moment, fumbles for his latch key.

Eamonn Lynskey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s