Honeymoon of Mourning

By Maarten Ploeger

Adonis Press 2016
ISBN 978-0-932776-56-3
104 pages, paperback, $20


Goethean phenomenological science is intimately related to art, for like art it involves active inner participation in the phenomena and the realization that the deeper dimensions of reality reveal themselves through our own participatory activity – or not at all. Thus it should come as no surprise that we have published this series of 90 poems by Maarten Ploeger about his relationship with his wife during her illness and after her death. His ‘poetical prose’ is steeped in genuine, honest, and deeply felt experience and will speak not only to those who have “lost” a loved one but also to all those who seek for a more intimate relationship with nature.

These poems are for those who have experienced the death of a dear companion and seek to continue their relationship through inner dialog.


A partner dies and a long lasting bond comes to an end. The one left behind enters a silence, the daily exchange of words no longer there.

The author of this book experienced that the conversation with the one he loved did not end with her death. This continuing conversation, this ‘exchange at the threshold,’ was a reality for him and he began to write things down. In these poems he found an outlet for his experiences, accessible for others.

They are ‘conversations’: moments of intimacy and personal observations mingle with experiences of mourning we may recognise. On the whole the poems are presented in the sequence in which they appeared.

A sense of wonder and gratitude for something which can give such strength during the first phase of a loss was the motive for this publication. I warmly recommend it.

----Lili Chavannes

A Sample of Poems from the book:


When the husk of the walnut
dries from green to tough
those precious moments
will become harder to crack

In poems I swathe you
weaving words to cocoon
where you may linger
and unfold your wings
when you wish to appear to me

Thus I want to prevent
that my thoughts of you
turn into furniture
covered in shrouds

Words between worlds
I wish to write for you

But what if my pen runs dry
will I lose you a second time then?


Honeymoon of mourning
maelstrom of feelings
reigniting loveYou on your wings there

I here on mine
there and here
melting in crucible
of undivided
being together still

Heaven is no place
is consciousness
here as there
there as here
a dance moving us

Softly we touch
with feelings of before
again in love
sensing again the wings of the butterfly
the butterfly you have become



From head to toes
I let my body rest
leaving it at night
returning in the morning
languidly balancing
on dawn of realisation

Drifting away
and descending again
tender moments together
allowing room
for what wishes to appear

Force of perceptions by day
whirl of nightly dreams
crumbs in between
which you scattered
as in fairy-tale wood
guiding me towards you



Lumps in throats and warm words
don’t forget the finger food

Earth and water or fire and air
whatever our children preferred
maternal to the very end

The undertaker’s van
picks up its load
You have sped ahead
not wanting to miss a thing

On wing beat of angels
you are waiting among us
touched by music
recalled in speeches
carried by our priest
you return to us

In peaceful drizzle
we bring you to your grave
raindrops on my spectacles
impersonating tears
and I remind myself
it is about to begin



How is it possible
for ordinary holidays
the fodder for leaflets
to turn into beacons of life?

Faded photographs
sagging tents
clutter of cutlery
keep me on track
to memories of paradise

Our happiness refreshed
sharing memories with friends
of summers in Galicia,
the sea at Area de Bon

Your sleep so heavenly always
listening to sighs of the surf
at Area de Bon

Sleep softly my dearest
sleep Bon.