Monday, April 26, 2010

The Reincarnation of Artichokes

Permanently tethered to the ether
Coming together because we share that connection
I know your core, your essence
And you know mine
I sense your pain, your hurt from a thousand miles away
It cuts like a knife and I feel it deep within my soul

You used to say we were the purest form of soul mates
That truism has played out over and over
The connection remains unbroken, despite our best efforts
To move on- to carve another life absent of yesterday

Words tie us together sending us on clouds of literary volleyball
Trading the world’s greatest authors with pieces of our own
Examining life from the opposite ends of a kaleidoscope
Your end looks out through the eye piece and sees reality:
Harsh, dark, the hardness of struggle and living life merely to exist
My end focuses on the sliding colors and shapes
Seeing endless possibilities in a world filled with brightly colored hope

Is this the dichotomy that brought us together and keeps us connected?
Your existence in a world of darkness and self-mutilation
Despite having a brilliant mind
That just couldn’t cope with the ordinary surrounding your world
My existence in a world full of promise and peace
Because I have a brilliant mind

It’s obvious that you can’t let me go
It’s obvious that I can’t let you go either

But you are sinking once again, deeper than any time before
I saved you once and almost lost my soul
Your soul is crying out again
I feel it
I hear it
God, I don’t know what to do…….

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010


So…here we are exposed to the naked truth of desire

You desire my company

I desire to know what makes you tick

You are an enigma- you terrify me in your directness and demanding nature

Yet I am pulled toward you like a moth to a light

Circling closer and closer, just hoping that I won’t get burned

You have the means and the ability to get to me

Literally get to me

There’s no hiding behind a virtual curtain

Warning sirens should be sounding

Like a gong in the empty recesses of my hijacked brain

‘Escape while you can’ should be the tape re-playing in my head

An eight track tape- how fitting

Yet, instead of retreating, I find myself wondering why you are the way you are

As if it is an ancient puzzle that I am destined and determined to solve

I picture you on that night time flight to Europe

Traveling at the speed of light to avoid the ash particles from the

Spewing Volcano

I told you before you left, that the thought of traveling through danger

Was incredibly exciting to me- an adrenaline rush like a wild roller-coaster ride

You just laughed in that old soul, slightly condescending way

As if I were a girl, rather than your equal in age

You told me goodbye and said “I’ll talk to you again when I return home.”

Presuming that I will be there for you when you disembark onto US soil

Lord, I think I need to exorcise you out of my life before the volcano erupts

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010
Image credit via Demetrius Tauriac

Operation Edgy

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010


You fascinate me - There I’ve said it
A passing name in the night, I gave you no heed
Persistently you worked your charm

So I gave you more than the cursory conversation

Went beyond the pleasantries of words between strangers
And moved into deeper territory
Unpeeling layers of the authentic me

How I think

What I do

How I feel about life

I’ve always loved a great conversationalist
And you fit that tag with more than a modicum of wit

And intelligence

So easy to be authentic, but anonymous while on-line
Unless of course you are dealing with me: The Queen of Investigation
Because I now know exactly who you are

Where you work

Who your friends are

What people are saying about you

Because I’m good like that

And the knowledge that I’ve gleaned just fascinates me even more
The real question is……
What am I going to do with it?

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Alpha & Omega of Heartbreak

Life is an unbroken circle

Segmented by chapters of changes

We are born, we live, we die

Our energy is recycled back into the earth

If we are lucky, something remains of our time here:

A child, a published work, a difference in another’s life

Every death is followed by a new life


But there is sadness in the knowledge

That the person we hold dear

No longer walks the earth

Even more sadness when they have been taken

From us instantly with no warning

My heart breaks for two recent deaths

One, a boy of 17 and the other

A young man of 19 who has lost his father

Both were unexpected, both are heart-wrenching

And there is always the back story-

The grim details of life that make the story of death

All the more poignant

The All American Football Star headed to Notre Dame

Literally the golden boy with the best of all possible futures ahead of him

Weeks away from graduation at a top Jesuit Boys’ High School

One costly mistake changes his life and the lives of so many around him


Then there is the 53 year old father still living out his high school glory days

As the celebrated Football Star

Wishing his sensitive, poetic son would take an interest in sports

Battling through his son’s teenage years, not knowing how to deal with a depressed

kid who self-mutilated away the pain of existence

Now relishing in the transformational change in maturity that college brings

To their new relationship

They become close, only to lose each other once again


So much sadness amid the bright hues of spring:

Red tulips, purple crocus, tender green leaves, yellow dandelions

The reminder that life is reaching up, out of the ground

Sending its tentacles skyward toward the sun

You see, the seasons go on, despite the grieving

Life is an unbroken circle

Segmented by chapters of changes

We are born, we live, we die

Our energy is recycled back into the earth

If we are lucky, something remains of our time here:

A child, a published work, a difference in another’s life

Or the silent observer who knows the back story…….

Deep within the St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter of New Orleans

A candle burns brightly carrying prayers for these men skyward.


Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Big Blue Line Mourns Another Fallen Brother

AP Photo

Social Media is changing how the world communicates. The ability to quickly spread news across various social media vehicles certainly is a benefit from bygone days with much slower communication methods. Take a look at how fast news of the election protests in Iran and the earthquake in Haiti spread on Twitter in the past year. Images and video were captured and launched around the world to thousands within minutes, long before traditional media was broadcasting on the ground.

When sad news hits close to home, it becomes even more evident how useful social media applications can become in spreading important messages quickly. On the evening of Friday, April 2nd, well-known St. Xavier High School Senior football star and USA Today First Team All-American, Matt James, died after falling off a balcony at his hotel while on Spring Break in Panama City, Florida. The news spread rapidly via text messages and a Facebook Group Page was quickly established: R.I.P. Matt James”. The Facebook Group Page posted over 3,000 members by Saturday morning (roughly a 12 hour time span) and nearly 8,000 in less than 24 hours. St. Xavier students used social media to put out a call for action to meet at the school for a prayer vigil at 11:00 p.m. Friday night. The Facebook Group Page gave mourners a place to share their thoughts and memories about Matt and to offer condolences to his family.

AP Photo

AP Photo

Matt James was a young man loved by many with incredible talents both on and off the football field. He was scheduled to graduate in June and join fellow football recruit Luke Massa at Notre Dame for the fall under former UC coach Brian Kelly. St. Xavier spokesperson, Mark Motz, was quoted on the ESPN College Football Website as saying about Matt, “His message was that we have to take care of one another."

St. Xavier, the largest Jesuit boys’ school in the United States, is known for their motto: “Men For Others”. Last night, the students of St. Xavier exemplified this belief as they quickly organized a prayer vigil and ensured that their classmates heard the news about their fallen brother as soon as possible, given that many had fanned out with family for the start of Spring Break. Unfortunately, for this tight-knit community, this was a drill that they had been through before. I wrote about a similar call to action last fall, when students rallied together to support Junior classmate Kevin Le, after he was struck by a car. Kevin hung on to life for several days prior to succumbing to his substantial injuries. Read about Kevin Le HERE.

Funeral arrangements are still pending at the time of this posting. Please check the Facebook Group Page for additional details or to leave your thoughts on the Wall.

As you approach this holiday weekend, take some time to unplug: turn off the smart phones, notebooks and laptops and spend some quality time with friends and family. You won’t regret it…..

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2010