Chapter 16
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“The Holes I Have”

Book Excerpt: Sinew: 10 Years of Poetry in the Brew

The Holes I Have

A soft light reflects
on my walls filling the room
with cheerful, dancing silhouettes
images tracing along hidden places
flood my brain through these holes
in my head called eyes.

These strange creatures soar through
the pinks, blues & whites of the covers
quilted happiness to the strands and stories
heard each night of places and people
then warm kisses good-night echo in my mind
through the holes in my head called ears.

Now old drinking brandy full-bodied
a calm invades my bones with warmth
bringing a hush, a contentment like those stories
drinking nectar to rain on the castles in my mind
playful games kill the dragon growing inside
through the long gutter in my head called a mouth.

Years of the living, the dead, the hushed, the moving,
ancient winds blow across my face scent of old lies
becoming a dry desert once salty oceans of plenty
aromas persist along the flowing currents
rye from the fields, roses on the bush, strings of honeysuckle
through these downward holes in my head called a nose.

The sights, sounds, tastes and smell of you from those years
surrounding me inspiring me to paint an unseen image
many pictures replayed and relived but longing for you
those things which I have yet to see or feel for many years
I peeked back at those moments wondering what to do now
with the hole in my chest where a heart once pounded for you.

“The Holes I Have”

Copyright © 2021 by Henry L. Jones. All rights reserved. Henry L. Jones is a Black poet, artist, playwright, performance artist, and activist. His poetry has appeared in The Willow Review, The Vanderbilt Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. His second poetry collection, Black Skillet Blues: Poetry without Cornbread (Beatlick Press) is due in late 2021. A Fisk University graduate and the inaugural poet laureate of Hendersonville, Jones is an editor of Sinew: 10 Years of Poetry in the Brew, an anthology of work from the long-running open-mic reading series based in Nashville.

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