In Search Of Love

Hendersonville Poet Laureate Shares His Moving Poem About Love, Loss and Hope

Henry Jones is always on a journey of discovery.

As a lifelong poet, visual artist, playwright and performance actor, Henry has become a keen observer of the world around him.

“I have spent most of my life trying to express my inner self, while simultaneously trying to gain a better understanding of the outer world around me,” says Henry. “My journey has helped me understand my purpose in life.”

Henry’s impressive curriculum vitae contains a host of notable achievements, including completing a fellowship with the Porch Writers Collective and OZ Arts Nashville, serving as a judge for Southern Word’s Poetry Slam, publishing over 400 original poems and creating fine art that has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. In 2021, Henry was named as Hendersonville’s first poet laureate, and he has since been heavily involved in conducting poetry readings and coordinating open mic events at Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center and the Hendersonville Public Library.

Henry is currently working on several new projects, including planning a theatrical production, designing a mural, developing an anthology and completing his second book of poetry, Black Skillet Blues: Poetry without Cornbread. He will also be the featured artist during Reading in Red, an upcoming exhibit of his art which will open on Feb. 1 at the Janet March Levine Gallery in Nashville.

During 2019, Henry wrote a moving poem I am Still Searching for You”, which was published in the anthology 20/20 Vision Focus on Czech Republic: A Poetic Response to Photography. The poem was inspired by a photograph by Terry Price, which depicted an elderly man with sad eyes who appeared to be searching for his lost love.

Although the poem has sad underpinnings, it is also filled with hope and optimism that love will reward those who patiently await. As such, the work is particularly poignant during February, the month of love and Valentine’s Day.


Where are you, my love?

Again I stand here looking

up and down into the streets

searching for your face

amongst the crowds of people

passing like a flowing stream

I stare while counting heads

hoping one was your crown

glistening along the currents

to eventually rise up for air

to see me along the shore

and reach for one of my hands

My fingers grasping the windowsill

instead of you there’s rotten wood

covered with chipping lead paint

releasing flakes drifting to the road

where lovers embrace each other

to prevent falling back into loneliness

The same desolation I know too well

while my probing eyes become tired

hoping to see you again if I keep watch

until back in each other’s warm arms

holding our love beyond the fears

twisting our hearts of their bitterness

leaving a sweetness found in the curved

rations of our passions where we clung

until the years of emptiness were released

filling us with only our love to overflow

drowning and floating as the wind blows

our echoed moans through the panes

This is why I still want to find you my love

at this glassy portal to our joyful memories

now a black hole eclipsing the sunny days

preventing the rays to refract your vase

overflowing with broken lilies holding on

in the stench of old water smelling like death

I know you’re still alive out there somewhere

they lied to me and tried to comfort me

with cold prayers like the stones of this building

rocks to remind me again of the marble pillar

with your engraved name to find you below

covered in layers of dirt instead of my kisses

You are coming any day down that path soon

I know it’s true because I found your smile

on the face of a young woman holding flowers

her fist clutched hairy roots swaying

seeking to taste cool water to live again

thirsty like we were before we found our love

This is why I stand here 35 years later

longing for your fingers to caress my lips

to silence my mind of worrisome thoughts

about this world now so empty without you

fighting alone to hold on each day to life

so I am still searching for you, my love.

My journey has helped me understand my purpose in life.

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