Hand + Hoe is currently closed due to COVID-19.

Honeymoon of Mourning

$ 20.00 USD

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.


JOHN BARNES, The Editor at Adonis Press found this book so touching and important that he did what is not fiscally recommended, he published a new book on poetry.  We sincerely hope this skillfully translated book is well received and touches many people.


Please consider making a generous donation towards the costs of publishing this book.  Adonis Press requires your support!  We have currently fallen short $2,000 in the publishing of this book and sincerely need support to cover these costs!


DONATIONS can be made in increments of $1, for example, simply input 25 ‘items’ for $25, or in any increment of your choosing.  We gratefully thank the few of you who will have the heart and interest to support this book.




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 love


You 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