Experimental Theater


Hey Harrison, how would you like to come over and sign my cast?

Your cast? What happened, Marti? Did you break something?

Nah, I’m doing experimental theater and everyone agreed to let a stranger write on them. You game?

Sounds pretty weird, but I guess it’s okay. 

Cool! Hey, have you ever used a tattoo gun?

© Joel Tipple



Something my maternal grandfather said once made an impression on me. I’m not even sure why it impressed me at the time. I’m going to guess I was somewhere in my tweens, though I could have been younger. He said young people have to be constantly entertained, or something to that effect. I suppose I could have shrugged it off as one of those statements “old people” make. You know, like, “When I was a child, I had three rocks to play with; and I was lucky, the kid down the street only had two!” But over the years I’ve given what he said some consideration. Why is it that we have to be busy doing something all of the time? I think we all know people who have to spend almost every waking moment involved in some activity: video games, TV, etc. If we say we’re Christians, how much time does God get? Does He get dibs on our day? Does he get the leftovers? In the long run, in our search for entertainment, are we settling for a second rate life?

God, why do I seem
always to be dancing
away from the dream.
The dream of a relationship
with you
that’s more than an extra
15 or 20 minutes
when I can fit You in.
The world tries to sell
me a life that’s
more “As seen on TV”
hand crafted.
And as usual,
I get what I pay for.
Help me to give less of me to that,
and more of me to You.
I don’t believe You
ever intended our lives to be
filled with drudgery.
I just think we’ve been suckered into
buying what life is not.
Show us what life is, God.
Show me.

Persistence, Realization, and Horse Sense




to the realization

through hard work

and persistence

that there is nothing

altogether common

about what is generally known

as horse sense.

Whether the topic

is children

or far east policy

or angels

or indeed, horses

nothing short of enthusiastic

application of curiosity and desire

will spell the difference

in success or failure

of the courses.

I’ll be there


Recently we put some bird feeders and a goldfinch thistle sock in the dogwood tree, along with a bird bath underneath it. They take some daily upkeep, but the return in entertainment has been huge. A bird splashing enthusiastically away is hilarious. I extended the perch on one of the feeders and so started getting many of the larger birds that don’t usually get invited to these things. As a result, there are several different birds that show up daily. There are the various songbirds, at least three pairs of doves, and a crowd of six or more of some very large birds that I have yet to identify. They show up like a biker gang with bad intent, gobble up as much as they can, and leave. On the bird feeder with the extended perch, there is one on either end, with a 3rd on the roof. Comical. This morning I was watching a blackbird pecking away at the ground, when a smallish juvenile walked up, squatted in front of the other bird, and opened its mouth wide. The bird equivalent of a teenager showing up and demanding to be fed. I don’t have the appropriate photo to go with this story. I’ll try to add one tomorrow.

dare me to follow you
I’ll be there and
for the time bear it too and
I’ll be there and
trust for a little time more
I’ll be there and
find what’s there in store

wait till Spring time
wait till Spring time

sun warming earth
morning giving birth
sun warming earth
sun warming earth

What I Say


Don’t just say you see
what I do
what I say what I say
don’t just do
what you can prove
say what I say what I say
all the day all the day
what I say what I say

jump in jump in spin
jump in jump in spin
do a quick revolution
jump out

ever since the day
we got married
been a holy ride
love done never ended
holy ride holy ride

jump in spin jump in spin
jump in spin jump in spin
do a quick revolution
jump out

Lori sweet Lori
train gets a goin’ cross country
dreams of rails and coattails
we got goin’ with a mist of steam
dreams of rails and coattails
ain’t never lost what it mean

jump in spin jump in spin
jump in spin jump in spin
do a quick revolution
back on

dance to the Lord’s revival
dance to our sweet Lord’s tune
dance to Jesus’ music
sweet sounds in your room

jump in spin jump in spin
jump in spin for it do you in
Lord lead a quiet revolution
with your strong constitution
say when

God’s First Bandmember

First, a couple notes:
1) Friends who are drummers, don’t get a big head over this.
2) I won’t pretend there is any biblical basis for my poem. I am not adding or subtracting from what is between the covers. I’m just sayin’.

Do you think something was left out?
Maybe it was just inferred.
Perhaps when God wrote Genesis,
He assumed we’d understand that in his word,
in the background sometimes subtle,
sometimes quiet,
sometimes loud,
is the presence of a great drummer,
who, thank God, is not proud.
Although he or she could certainly be,
because when God first considered man
and everything else in creation
and (come on, of course!) the first band,
for His first band member, He found a drummer
who could put Buddy Rich to shame.
If you’re too young, or not into big bands
you’ll have to Google his name.
For proof I offer my heart,
or yours,
or a friend’s.
I imagine at the end of the first day
there was a drum solo no one wanted to end.
So the next time you hear music
of, I suppose, any kind,
imagine God’s first band
without a drummer to keep time.

Some Writer Types

Put words onto pages
or onto screens
in this digital age you know what that means

remove thoughts from the ether
and bring them to earth
where we cast them about
debating their worth

Some famous scribes
have been known to imbibe
but it’s not necessary
to drink when spreading ink

can write songs by the score
while their heart’s on the floor
amidst the notes that they wrote

eschew convention
with their own invention
which becomes… convention

know all the world’s a stage
and seek to engage
those in the seats
patrons they may never meet