Archive for January, 2010

The Linchpin

Thursday, January 28th, 2010


This is my wagon. And this is its wheel.
And holding it on was a small bit of steel.

They call it a linchpin. What a great title
For something so small but remarkably vital.

Until this moment I never really knew,
About these linchpins and the job that they do.

Coming down the hill on my daily route.
One of my linchpins came loose and fell out.

Off came the wheel and my load went askew.
And that is the reason I’m covered in doo.

We all play a role. We all have a stake.
What role will you play, what choice will you make?

The wagon cart is strong but dumb
It does its job and just stays mum.

The wheels are smooth and round and sleek.
But by themselves they’re pretty weak.

But the linchpin helps them work as a crew.
Without it we’d be in a pile of doo.

We each have a choice about what role to play.
Will you be our linchpin and show us the way?

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Brad Sneed.

This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

see more poems

Not enough? Here’s a ‘normal’ review.

Linchpin will scare you. It will make you squirm. And it will make you think. Really, really think.

The basic premise is this: society, schooling and and human evolution have combined forces try to make you fearful, faceless and mediocre. Godin calls the forces that hold us back The Resistance. The Resistance wants you to be average. The Resistance wants you to show up, punch the clock and not complain. Those that can overcome The Resistance — to throw away fear, to make their own rules, to draw their own map, to make things happen, to become LINCHPINS — now have the tools and the leverage to do more than ever before. To do big things and make lasting change. And here’s the kicker: only by overcoming The Resistance and becoming a Linchpin can we achieve real fulfillment and happiness. (more…)

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Wild hare

Monday, January 25th, 2010


There once was a man
With only one hare.
He washed it and combed it
And gave it great care.

But all day and all night
He’d feel his hare hop.
So he tried mousse and gel
To make that hare stop.

The answer he found
Was no cream, gel or mousse
But a brand new hare-spray
He called carrot juice.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Brad Sneed.



This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

Please share and like us:

The Magic Trick

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010


Today I learned a magic trick
To pull a cobra from my ear.
Now the only trick I need
Is to make him disappear.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Brad Sneed.



This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

Please share and like us:

Astronaut soup

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Have you ever stopped to think just how
We astronauts eat our chow?

Today we passed Saturn’s loop
And I popped a can of alphabet soup.

Stuff in space just wants to float
So it takes some work to fill your throat.

But if you’re not careful, you best beware…
You might find a B hiding out in your hair.

Or it might be what just happened to me…
You might find yourself covered in P.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Brad Sneed.



This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

Please share and like us:

Talking to kids about disaster

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Kids watching TV

Like all of you, Haiti has weighed heavily on my heart me these past few days. I don’t have any brilliant insight to provide — I’m struggling with all the same emotions: extreme sadness, desire to help, frustration that aid is slow to get there…

But this morning I stopped to think about the news and images I’ve seen over the past few days, and the emotional toll they’ve taken on me. And I started wondering if I’ve done all that I could — or should — to engage or prepare my kids for what they might see in the coming days and weeks. (more…)

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In Kind

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

When I was a lad
I’d often get mad
At the crazy things people said.

In most every bind
I’d reply in kind
And tell them to go drop dead.

But now that I’m older
I’ve found that it’s bolder
To repay them in kindness instead.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.



This poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

Please share and like us:

Feeling much better

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Project OpenBook: Feeling Much Better
It’s just a touch of tonsillitis…
*Cough* or maybe a bit of laryngitis.

Whatever it is, I’d better stay put.
Feels like it’s spreading into my foot.

See how my eyes are three shades of red?
They’re not? Well, check my nose instead…

Don’t worry ’bout me. Just run off to school.
And tell all my teachers I’m lying in drool.

Pizza for lunch? What’s that you say?
Re-check the menu. You sure that’s today?

Now that you mention it, I’m feeling much better.
Just hang on a minute while I grab a sweater.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Brad Sneed.



This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

Please share and like us:

The mailbox monster

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Project OpenBook: The Mailbox Monster
Listen to me closely
if you wanna survive.
Stay away from the cave
at the end of the drive.

Mom says, “Don’t worry,
there’s nothing in there.”
But I’ve seen it and know
there’s a monster, I swear.

Remember the postman’s
broken arm last spring?
It’s because he forgot
to feed the darn thing.

It’s furry and smelly
sharp-toothed and wild-eyed.
It reaches out and grabs kids
and pulls ’em right inside.

And all that is left
when the monster is through
is a pile of clothes
sitting on top of their shoes.

So stay away from the cave
with the monster inside.
The cave with the flag
and the numbers on the side.

The cave’s just a mailbox?
Is that what you say?!?
Then why don’t you go down
and grab the mail for me today?

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Brad Sneed.



This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

Please share and like us:

Defining the goal

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Nepal Girl

Last week, we announced Project OpenBook, a project to write a children’s book WITH  YOU.  (Yes, I’m talking to you.)   But why?  Why are we doing this?

To make an impact.

First a small goal: Let’s raise $2,500 to free a young girl in Nepal from virtual slavery and pay for her education through secondary school.

Learn more…

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Too grown up to look up

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Project OpenBook: Too Grown Up
When I was a kid
I’d do what kids did
And lie in the grass
Just watching clouds pass.

I saw lots of stuff
In each fluffy puff:
A fish dipped in whipped cream,
A snake in each jet stream.

But now I’m too grown up
To see what has shown up.
No time anymore…
Ever since I turned four.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Brad Sneed.



This illustrated poem was created for Project OpenBook, an experiment in doing good.

To learn more and follow the journey, visit:
marblespark.com/project-openbook

Please share and like us: