A sudden reversal of the day’s next hour
seems to confound others.
Not me.
I know that time does not need to move forward.
We are impoverished if we believe
the hours cannot retreat, for
the sun can, indeed, grow still in the sky,
and the waves return endlessly to the sea.

How have we failed to understand that
language has entrapped us?
Words seem to mandate the passage of days because
we feel they cannot be absolved and forgotten.
Maybe it is guilt, or ego,
which feels the need to document
your life’s events
in honor of your own unique journey
through the long, narrow portal of time.
Yet, a tunnel can be traveled
in either direction.
A man’s steps can change his course, forever.

Some claim that love creates a lapse of time
for it makes each moment stop and
become filled until
the experience cannot contain more.
It almost makes breathing, itself, slow down
into stillness.
When you sit in silence with another
and watch the moon rise like a spectral from the dark ocean
until it lights up the night’s black veil
as if it is starting a fire upon the horizon
to divide the sea from the sky for the first time,
there is no sense of time’s passage,
for the universe
seems to be in the midst of reenacting the birth
of our only sun,
making everything new again.
The Milky Way’s cloud above has not changed
in a billion years, and neither
has the cascading of the waves, so
what does time really mean?
Do we alone sense that we are traveling through its corridor?

When I awaken and the night has not passed,
I feel as if I have entered into a primordial existence,
somewhere between the dream land and
the world to which we will all return in death.
I always seem to listen
more attentively in this enchanted place
which somehow seems more familiar to me than daytime.
The language of silence is older even
than music and wind.
Until there were eyes, even star fire could not
extinguish the darkness.
So, this quiet place without light is home, and
I must transverse time to get back there.

What do we now observe that really matters
in a universe of stars?
An orange moon sitting on the edge of a black sea
is all two lovers need to know of their time.
They hold one another as if to clutch onto the night
and to its magic.
They hope the morning will never arrive.
The moon is all the light they desire, for before
the night is through they will move
their linked bodies in pair
to the rhythmic chanting of the waves,
the only language to which they will obey.
And, when they speak, it will
not be words which exude from their wet lips.

Lawrence William Berggoetz is published in The Bitter Oleander, Sheepshead Review, Peregrine, Pacific Quarterly, Skidrow Penthouse, Stoneboat, Blue Heron Review, Poetry Pacific, and others. He was a finalist