The Tao of Longing & The Body Geographic by Michael Henson


A Zen story –

A monk and his young apprentice approach a flooded river. A beautiful girl stands frightened, unable to enter the dangerous waters. Silently, the old monk takes the girl in his arms and carries her safely across. Hours later, the young apprentice blurts, “But we’re not supposed to have contact with women!”

“I put her down miles ago,” the old man says. “You are still carrying her.”


  • Kind: Perfect Bound
  • Pages: 48
  • Language: English
  • Published: February, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-1-933675-52-7


Michael Henson’s love poems, the modern equivalent of blazons, detailed lists of the beloved’s beauties, are that young man’s poems: vivid as haiku, surprising in their metaphors, imagining and realizing in their lines the erotic geography of the body and the mind.” — Richard Hague



There are secrets about you.
I will not know them.
You will not tell me.
I will not ask.

All night long
a black wind worries the branches of the oak
I watch the slow moon
shuttle her great white pack across the sky.

And in the morning
the crow at my window tells me
I know everything I need to know.


Michael Henson is the author of Ransack, a novel, and A Small Room with Trouble on My Mind, a book of stories. His poems have been published in Threepenny Review, Red Crow Poetry Journal, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, The Merton Seasonal, Wind, and in the anthologies Smaller Than God: Poems of Spiritual Search, Old Wounds, New words: Poems from the Appalachian Poetry Project and Blue Collar Review. He is the winner of the 2002 Jack Kerouac Poetry Prize. He is a frequent contributor to StreetVibes, the Cincinnati homeless newspaper. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife Elissa Pogue.

Additional information

Weight 4 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in