Bleak Is the Stable

Bleak is the stable and frosty the hay;
The old shepherd’s moaning, “Please go away!
Give me some quiet, for that would be bliss;
Messes annoy me—just look at all this!
Some other farmhand should milk the brown cow,
While I feed the lambs, the calves, and the sow.
Yes, I know my part, I know it right well:
Work is my worship, despite the rank smell.”


Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Sunday’s Whirligig #244
More Pantry of Poetry and Prose #8 at Poets United


Posted on December 15, 2019, in light verse, Poetry Pantry, Poets United, Rhyming poetry, Sunday's Whirligig and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. You certainly bring shepherd-hood to life

  2. Olfactorily delightful, Teach!

  3. It is always good to know that a responsible soul will do what a responsible soul must, regardless of circumstances or setting (or air quality).

  4. Love this! ❤️ Messes annoy me too! 🙂

  5. Haha… sounds like my kind of church 🙂

  6. clever use of the words! LeeAnna

  7. Yes, tending the creatures is worship indeed. You wont find purer hearts anywhere!

  8. Caring for animals as worship – I don’t think you can get any closer to truth than this. Wonderful!

  9. Perfectly fashioned piece.. And a triumph of amusement too… Apart from a consistent quality, I never really quite know what to expect when I come to visit you and that is what’s so great about it… Mystically magical indeed…. Regards Scott

  10. Kestril Trueseeker

    All the minutia involved in work won’t always feel wonderful, even when you are called to do it. But knowing that it is part of who you are, right down to your bones, does give completion of tasks a certain sense of satisfaction.


    I first thought this might go the nativity route. I like that last line!

  12. You’ll get used to it in time! It could be worse the cow could kick you or the milk pail over.

  13. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar

    Ha! I can’t think of anything I like LESS than cleaning a cow stall – perhaps a chicken coop that has not been cleaned for a while. Yes, I’m a farm girl and will take horses any day! 🙂

  14. I love this take on the nativity–your rhyme seems effortless–

  15. Yes, love this take on the nativity….The rhyme is delightful…made me smile.

  16. I love both the humour and the serious message.

  17. Wonderful cadence in this. I admit, I did put a nativity-scene spin on it – though (upon re-reading it) the nativity is not mentioned. Perhaps it is the season. So I initially interpreted the poem as a cautionary note about how we mortals can get ourselves so caught up in the minutiae of daily life that we can have a miracle unfolding before our very eyes and not see it. However rereading it (as not – necessarily – the nativity scene, I was struck by the line ‘Work is my worship’. Caring for the creatures of this earth is a form of worship/reverence … and one that can’t be put off for long. All and all, there is a lot to this clever little piece. I like it a very much!

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