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Ruan Mills Burke

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The Visitation
by Ruan Mills Burke

Monday, March 19, 2012
Rated "G" by the Author.
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           >> View all 172

Written by me.
Inspired by 'The Listeners' by Walter de la Mare.


‘Can I help you?’ asked the man

    Setting his half moon specs to rights;

Peering up and down the street

    But there was no one in his sights:


He’d heard the knocker pounding clear

    ‘Is anybody there?’ he said.

But clearly there was no one there

    He shrugged, bemused, and scratched his head


A breath of wind brushed past his face

    And flotsam fluttered by the drain

The night lay damp on window ledge

    While moonlight shimmered on the pane


He turned to wander back inside

    A single thought besieged his mind,

Could it be? He dared not hope

    A promise kept, t’which he was blind?


He closed the door against the night

    A shiver shook him to the core

He’d settled in his lonely chair

    When he heard that pounding beat once more


Again, he rose to peer outside

    But all he saw were rustling trees

‘Hello!’ he cried ‘For whom do you seek?

    Should I come forth on bended knees?’


But ‘neath the starred and leafy sky

    No utterance or response occurred

Within his ear the silence roared

    Within his heart no sound was heard


The man resumed his lonely place

    Amid the dust and cobwebs dense

His ears turned deaf to iron on stone

    His heart grown numb to recompense.


As a stand alone poem, it is what ever you want it to be.

It is also however a relevant accolade to...

The Listeners by Walter de la Mare -




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Reviewed by Mary Ann Biddinger 3/23/2012
A curtsey dear Ruan. Beautifully written.
Lady Mary Ann
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 3/20/2012
An accolade it is, filled with mysterious expectation that is beautifully written. One senses that there is much more to come.

Reviewed by Mr. Ed 3/20/2012
Truly Captivating and Thought Provoking - enjoyed reading both your poem and de la Mare's.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 3/19/2012
A compelling poetic offering that awakens both thought and emotion. Thank you, Ruan. Well done. Love and best wishes,

Reviewed by Asa Seeley 3/19/2012
a closed heart hears nothing, even from the best intentions. thanks for sharing.

Reviewed by Richard King 3/19/2012
Like Jerry, I haven't read THE LISTENERS, but I think the "...breath of wind" that "brushed past his face" was the spirit of a lost loved one.

I have likewise gotten into trouble trying to interpret the works of others, but it hasn't stopped me from doing so. This one stirred the brain just right.

Thanks, Dick
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 3/19/2012
Not having read The Listeners' by Walter de la Mare, I can only look at this poem a la carte.

The last verse, of course, is the key to the poem.

"The man resumed his lonely place / Amid the dust and cobwebs dense"

The pounding on the door was, in my opinion, and I get into trouble when I venture into the unknown and am usually wrong, but the pounding was his conscience, or even desire that someone please come to visit.

Now I will Google The Listeners' by Walter de la Mare.

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