peter rodenby

(8th january 1951 / newcastle upon tyne)

Sophie by the river and moonlight


Lying in my arms apparently contented
you do not fidget or struggle,
water soothes, fascinates
no temptations to jump,
to walk away,
that may come later.

I who have stolen time
trespass on another mans fate,
a substitute grandfather.
No blood binds, heritage,
history or haemoglobin.
Both watch water
over rocks, over falls, down river.
I see for what it is, but what do you see
sitting on grass grasping flowers?


It’s dark you are asleep
I sit again as night comes
crescent moon
solitary star low on horizon.
A planet does not twinkle,
parade of street lights up the dale.
Fifty years separates
a generation removed.
A man watching water a mile up river
Does not see the same as me.

You are long asleep from time
we sat under shadow of sycamores.
pale light, but you will not see
You were mine a princess of the river
Precious, but not moonlight.
I am beyond you
with burden of experience
toll of tears.
You are beyond me
Infinite possibilities
your life might take.

Submitted: Friday, April 14, 2006
Edited: Monday, April 17, 2006

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Comments about this poem (Sophie by the river and moonlight by peter rodenby )

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  • Joseph Daly (4/15/2006 4:17:00 AM)

    Passion has rarely been so well illustrated. However, if I might suggest that you do away with the final stanza. I feel everything else is so universal and that is taken away by the final stanza.

    In one sense you have already personalised it in the title, and you have shared that feeling with us. However the last stanza belongs to you alone.

    I hope you will see what I am getting at. This is a wonderful poem my friend. (Report) Reply

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