OUTSIDE THE INN • by Ron Lavalette

There would, of course, have to be a star
—as there always is— but
only a single star, luminous

beckoning above the merest shelter.
Around the meager dwelling,
its wattle daubed with ordinary

midnight, there would of course be
shepherds, nodding, and music of
sheep bells a softly ringing lullaby.

There would have to be an angel.
The sky, a clear intoxicant, would
open and the angel would sing

and the shepherds, keeping their sheep
would have to spread the word
and be certain.

Ron. Lavalette lives in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont, barely a snowball’s throw from the Canadian border. His work has appeared in dozens of print journals such as The Anthology of New England Writers, The Comstock Review, EDGZ, Lynx Eye, Maelstrom, The Pine Island Journal, and Raintown Review, among others; his work has also appeared in pixel form at Able Muse, Conspire, The Country Mouse, Crescent Moon Journal, MiPo, New Works Review, The Orange Room Review, Stirring, The Writer’s Hood, and many other online venues.

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Rating: 2.1/5 (19 votes cast)
OUTSIDE THE INN • by Ron Lavalette, 2.1 out of 5 based on 19 ratings
Posted on December 24, 2008 in Poems
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  • http://www.oonahs.blogspot.com Oonah V Joslin

    Christmas Eve at last and Ron Lavalette’s beautifully atmospheric poem daubing our senses with a few words of pure magic :)

  • Robin Herrnfeld

    I think this is beautiful, Ron. The ambiguity given by use of the conditional I find very effective.
    Really liked this:

    “its wattle daubed with ordinary

    midnight,”. Well done!

  • M

    Of course, you would have to write this very lovely piece, Ron. And of course, they could pick no better day than today to publish it. Many congrats on a fine poem!

  • http://www.oonahs.blogspot.com Oonah V Joslin

    and in case anybody missed it, ‘and there were in the fiekds, certain shepherds, keeping watch watch over their flocks by night.’ certain shepherds – wonderful :)

  • http://eggsovertokyo.blogspot.com dellfarmer

    Oonah: Thanks for mentioning. Also, in the carol: “…the angels did say/ was to certain poor shepherds/ in fields as they lay..”

    That particular word has always intrigued me. Why *certain* shepherds, not others?

    Thanks for having selected my work.

  • Robin Herrnfeld

    That’s a very intriguing question. Why certain?

  • Joan

    Very clever……… very enjoyable.

  • http://www.oonahs.blogspot.com Oonah V Joslin

    ‘certain’ is one of those words that has changed usage somewhat. It used to mean ‘a number of’ – nothing to do with assuredness. It is rarely used in that French way nowadays – a certain ‘je ne sais quoi…’ but here, the pun works to perfection since it is the final word of the poem and we are left to ponder its meaning and our own beliefs in the light of all the ‘of courses’ – the things we take for granted about the Christmas story.

  • http://shawnnacona.wordpress.com/ Shawn Nacona

    Excellent work Ron, I always enjoy reading your poetry…both your published work and your work that I read in workshop. Congratulations!


    Shawn Nacona

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