The Visitor

When misted twilight shifts to midnight black,

then I drift, but hear her mournful sighing

outside the window, crying, “bring me back”–-

whispers first, but then intensifying.

Why does she with grief-filled moans so haunt me?

What soul-stricken sprite struggles at moon nights,

flickering at a flame–moth-winged banshee–

fleeing at dawn, in sunshine’s gilding light?

And yet–-her shadowed-face, ghostly image

appears each night, (bewitching) she calls me–

I rise, unsure, do I smile or grimace?

Two here on different planes, one not yet free.

So, I know now when next she comes again

the light will fade for me–not why, but when.

This is for dVerse, where Sanaa is asking us to write Gothic-themed poems.  It’s my birthday, so this will be fun reading. 😀 I’ve re-worked this sonnet that I wrote for another dVerse prompt about a year ago.

65 thoughts on “The Visitor

  1. I know I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again: happy birthday dear Merril, happy birthday to you! I I love the ‘mm’ and ‘igh’ sounds in the opening line which lead to the ‘mournful sighing’ in the following line, drawing me in. Your ‘soul-stricken sprite’ reminds me of Catherine Earnshaw’s ghost at the beginning of Wuthering Heights.

  2. Happy Birthday!

    This poem gave me chills, particularly this:

    “outside the window, crying, “bring me back”–-

    whispers first, but then intensifying.”

    Whether someone who has passed, the fear of death, being haunted by a spirit, or in the process of dying, this poem is remarkably haunting. It reminds me of Poe’s style, especially with the topics you delve into. I also think the narrator is haunted by a past they once lived, and now as they moved on, it wants to come back.

    I don’t know for sure, but that’s the beauty of everything in poetry. I love how I can see this in different ways and then find a new perspective that I never considered. This is a beautifully written, and of course, gothic piece! I love, love, love it!

    Hope you have a fantastic Birthday. ❤ ❤

    • Aww–thank you so much, Lucy! Yes, I think perhaps the narrator is haunted by something–there is definitely something dark calling to him (it’s a him in my mind). I think I may have been thinking of Wuthering Heights when I first wrote it.

  3. Happy Birthday, my dearest Merril! 💝 This is a stunningly dark and enticing sonnet 😀 who doesn’t love a banshee? I enjoyed this part; “And yet–-her shadowed-face, ghostly image appears each night, (bewitching) she calls me–I rise, unsure, do I smile or grimace?” Thank you so much for writing to the prompt! 💝

  4. Happy Birthday Merril! I hope you have a wonderful day.
    You’re poem is classic gothic, and truly haunting (as well as the image which really spooks me every time I see it).
    ‘Two here on different planes, one not yet free.’ – lines such as this push beyond the gothic stereotype into something deeper, the heart-rending pain of bereavement and loss.

    • Thank you very much, Ingrid.
      I’m pleased you thought this was gothic and haunting. I pleased you singled out those lines because I rewrote them to be more ambiguous–which one of them is not yet free?

  5. Be joyous, birthday girl, and know in your heart the dark Covid cloud and the Fascist mantle on our government, by your next birthday, both will be nearly gone. I accepted the narrator as a “Him” right off, unless it was a Lesbian tale, that in itself so very Victorian & Gothic .

  6. Happy birthday!!!! I so enjoyed this one specially the opening lines with the mournful sighing. Scary to imagine hearing this kind of grief-filled moans at night.

    Have a lovely birthday celebration!

  7. Hope your birthday was memorable yesterday! What a spooky poem here, I wasn’t sure what to make of the visitor but enjoyed this thought, “I rise, unsure, do I smile or grimace?” I think the narrator struggles with the curiosity of the unseen, that dark fascination! 😍

  8. Happy late birthday Merril, and thanks for the post! It’s almost themed “vampire” although that word isn’t even used once, that shows how evocative your writing is!

  9. Happy belated birthday, Merril! I like your gothic poem. It has an Edgar Allan Poe feel to it. I like the accompanying painting, too, although at first glance, I thought the figure was a medieval cleric of some kind. 😮

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