All Hope


“There, that’s done,” Clay breathed a sigh of relief as he and Lori left the real estate office in Bandon, Oregon after signing the lease for
the latest All Hope Ministries outreach center. “Clay,” Lori said, “there’s something you might not have considered when you picked this particular city for the next All Hope.” Clay’s brows drew together. “What’s that?” he said. The corner of her mouth lifted just a little. “Well, you know how you answer the phone in San Francisco? San Francisco, All Hope.” “Sure,” Clay said, “and in Portland we answer, Portland, All Hope. So in Bandon we would
say… Oh!” He shook his head and laughed quietly. “Okay, we’ll have to adjust that.”

© Joel Tipple

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.

Position: Independent


Tonight I’m writing a poem using dictionary roulette. It’s like the poems I’ve done where my family picks words I have to use within a specific number of stanzas. Tonight I picked words at random from the dictionary. Actually, my wife picked them because I suck at it. The words I picked were Horne, Lena & National Bank. After that, I let her pick. These aren’t great, but they’ll have to do.

I want a job I think you want too,
because this guy
writes his own job description.
It’s the sort of thing
could qualify for,
a peculiarly adaptive position.

It isn’t the kind of job you’d find
on Craig’s list
or in the paper,
nor is it criminal;
it doesn’t involve capers.
It doesn’t matter your sex,
be it lady or gent.
This job fits all
’cause it’s position independent.

Compassion for Twitterpated Individual Couch Jump Velocity

Last Saturday I asked my wife and daughter to help me with a poem by giving me words I would have to use in four stanzas. This week my granddaughter got to throw in two of her own, so this week we’ll have six. Here goes.

Not many are aware of the Couch Olympics.
It’s a byproduct of the TV age, and development
of living room gymnasts.

Many twitterpated fans stay up
all night to view the athletes.
Their dewy eyes stay locked on
their heroes while they compete.

The sport involves lots of sophisticated movements,
using cushions to assist jumps. As you might guess,
participants accumulate more than a few lumps.

The individual rounds begin
with manipulation of the Lazy Boy Chair.
A deft pull of the foot stool
can send one high up in the air.

You would think velocity limited
within the confines of a living room,
but speeds have been measured
almost enough for a sonic boom.

Once, a veteran jumper flew so far
the couch couldn’t catch him.
Thankfully he was rescued by an onlooker,
overcome with compassion.

Random Peaches Phlebotomist Pie

Today’s post could not be more appropriate for a Saturday night. I asked my wife and daughter to donate four words to find a home in four stanzas. Let’s see if this poem makes any sense.

Ladies and Gentlemen
whether often or seldom
if your tastes run
or if they are random
you’re sure to admire
this certain dessert
but please wear a bib
to protect that nice shirt.

You can evenly distribute
as if in a chart
and add plenty of sugar
in case they’re too tart
Let the math prof judge size
cause that’s how she teaches
while the students’ mouths water
over this dish full of peaches.

Phlebotomists know to keep it sweet
so that folks won’t pass out
they come up with treats
and carefully portion
for folks with big eyes
who might take too much
of that awesome fruit pie.

Weather: Like a Bolt of Lightning

Jesus, you…

hit me like a bolt of lightning, the highlight of my younger days.
Just a taste of that Holy Spirit
and I never felt the same. Your kind of power God makes the knees
buckle, but then again makes us
strong. Oh God, that burning bush for Moses, surely made him come
along. What about Paul, who was
Saul? Baby, after that flash on the road to Damasc’, testimony
forever changed. What a monster
flash! Da dooby doo dooooo dwee up dwee up up up and away in the
upper room, that place was hop-
pin’, there was no stoppin’ shakin’ nearly every day. Like a bolt
of lightning, You hit me like
a bolt… of lightning. Like a jagged bolt, of lightning… oh oh
a bolt of lightning, Hit me one
time! Whoa woh oh! Weee oh oh mmmm’ oh, hmm, hmm hmm… dweedle
oh, oh! and that’s all.

Fog! The Poem

What’s this? I thought we already addressed fog for the weather series! Emily Anne, of commented that she thought “there was a poem in there somewhere, waiting to be extracted.” Well, rather than listen to the muffled shouts of “let me out” by the Fog poem, I’ve decided to be merciful and do just that.

Held between hills
like water stopped up in a funnel
that low-level cloud
for morning
but it lacks the discipline
to hold steady for long
better at ease
than attention

It’s everywhere and nowhere
at once
a twirling mist
seeing through you just
laughing at
barriers and borders
and motions

Stepping aside for a car
then stepping back in
like a haughty star
you might move through me now
but sister…
believe me
you’ll never see far

A field of cows
might appear half-calf
an orchard of trees
could seem
it can define your mind
like mine
without coffee

not landing


and trench-

from directions
all four


Weather: Fog

When you think about it, fog is very sneaky. It’s all passive aggressive with its violence. It isn’t the kind of weather that comes right out and pummels you, somehow. It just creeps in and slowly drops a veil in front of your face. That’s why people who write scary stories use it all the time. As is the case most everywhere, the drive-in-theaters where I live are long gone. The last time I went to one was either shortly before or shortly after I was married. Lori and I went to see… that’s right, you guessed it, “The Fog.” Not a bad flick, and to make it even more creepy, it was actually very foggy that night. It wasn’t foggy enough to obscure our view of the screen, but it did add a sinister ambiance. Mostly, I remember Adrienne Barbeau.

Fog is sometimes a factor in multiple car accidents. Lori remembers a day when she was in 5th grade. The fog was terribly thick and her school was near the freeway. The children started hearing cars skidding and impacting each other, over and over. It went on for some time, and closing the classroom windows didn’t keep the sound from intruding. Now that would be a great time to allow prayer in public schools.

I was with my father late one evening on a tow service call. We were traveling slowly down a steep and narrow mountain road, called the Wildcat. At one point he had me get out and walk ahead of him to verify where the road was. We weren’t that far from home, but that night it might as well have been 100 miles.

Weather: Sunny

When I rise in the morning
all I’d like in bed with
your’s truly
(along with the missus)
is a ray of sunshine.
At the risk of sounding
a tad
I might say:
it’s divine.

Family0510 035

Up come the shades
and out come the shades
if I’m going outdoors
fewer clothes than other days
is my usual way
to treat blissful
a share of which is mine

After the bed is made,
the cat requisitions a beam or two
It’s what cats do
and you do too
if you know

Weather: Rain

home0512 017

You mist-ify
for you we’ve torrential love
you cloud
our minds with vapor
drops from
heaven above
Bits of you with friends float
ocean liners
surround land
till chunks of that
form islands
complete with
fruity drinks
and bands
You’re sometimes swift when you’re a river
but then again
you can be
You might bob about in a lake
with a
panoramic woody
You’re our life to drink
or filled with lives…
creatures we’ve seen
and not
You’re where sailors go
the ones who returned
and those forever sought
You float Huck’s raft
and bring God’s wrath
You swallowed the Egyptians
You’re there when we’re skating on thin ice
and there
when the thunder rolls
Rain, we celebrate you with a tidal wave
for the thrill
that fills
our souls
You make us happy
when you stay for a time
even more so
when you go