Archive for June, 2010

My Pal Pookie

Thursday, June 24th, 2010


I call my best friend Pookie.
He’s my furry teddy bear.
He talks to me, but only,
When no one else is there.

Pookie has a sewn-on smile,
And buttons for his eyes,
His head is full of sawdust,
but he’s very, very wise.

I cuddle him at bed-time,
and when I start to yawn,
I know that he will stay awake,
And guard me till the dawn.

Written by Mike Smail.
Illustrated by Ann Troe.



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

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Less Work, More Play

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

At dinnertime my dad will say
So what did you kids do all day?
And we tell tales of climbing trees.
Of riding bikes and scraping knees.
He says, “That’s great! That sounds like fun!
Enjoy these days out in the sun…”
Then we ask, “How was your day?
Did you have fun? What did you play?”
“I went to work. You’d find it bland.
It’s tough for kids to understand.”
“Try us! Try us!” we all yell.
“We may get it. How can you tell?”
“I made some calls and paid some bills.
Solved a problem. It took some skills.”
He looks around; we’re all snoring.
This thing called work sounds really boring.
In that moment, I promise some day
To make my work less work, more play.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Ann Troe.



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

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Lost and Found

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Today we did some laundry washing
But somehow while the suds were sloshing
Turning, churning, swashing, sploshing…
We lost another sock.

“Where do they go, those socks and mittens?”
Mama asked, her teeth-a-grittin’.
Then dad leaned back where he was sittin’
And quietly he said:

“I’ll tell you something no one knows
‘Bout where those socks and mittens goes
But only if you cross your toes
And promise you’ll keep it secret.

“Inside the pantry is a tiny man
Who lives behind a green bean can
And eats our toasted oatmeal bran.
He says his name is Jacques.

“Jacque’s so small he has no clothes
Except for what he finds and sews.
To keep himself from getting froze,
He has to be creative.

“So the washer lid is where he clings
To hang a hook down on a string
And grab some dirty, smelly things
Like socks and jocks and mittens.

“So now that you have lost a sock
Don’t just stand around and squawk;
Just know that you have helped our Jacques
Survive another winter.

“But next time that you lose your keys
I’d run to check the pantry please
Before they’re used to spread cream cheese
On Jacque’s morning bagel.”

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Nina Crittenden.



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

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I Built My Bug a Rocket Ship

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

I built my bug a rocket ship
To fly him to the moon.
My little insect astronaut
Will be launching very soon.

The rocket is a loaf of bread
With a waffle cone on top.
Four fins made out of melba toast…
Held tight with syrup glops.

Ten, nine, eight, seven…
Get ready for your trip!
…six, five, four, three…
Oh no! My dog just ate the ship!
.
.
.
.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.
Illustrated by Christy Schneider.



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

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First Things

Monday, June 7th, 2010

John Wooden

John Wooden, legendary coach for the UCLA Bruins, died yesterday at age 99. Beyond telling the story of a life well-lived, Wooden’s New York Times obituary briefly notes:

[Wooden] always carried a piece of paper with a message from his father that read: ‘Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day.’

These are awesome examples of what my family calls ‘First Things’.  First Things are what you value most (it’s taken from the the saying “Put first things first…”). First things are what you prioritize — the non-negotiable things that don’t bend when life gets hard or busy.  Some folks call them ‘guiding principles’ or ‘core values’; I call them ‘First Things’.

The thought of Wooden ‘carrying a piece of paper with a message from his father…’ is powerful imagery for me. I picture hand-lettered words on a tattered slip of paper in Wooden’s wallet. I picture the words in squiggly cursive, with shadows where the letters had been re-drawn after getting worn from a trip through the washing machine.

And it makes me wonder: after I’m dead and gone — when they ask my boys what my First Things were — how might they respond? More importantly could I respond if you asked me while I’m still here?

So I’m resolving to write down my First Things. And I’m going to take a lesson from Joshua Hugh Wooden (Wooden’s dad): My First Things must fit on a business card. That way my kids can carry them around for the next 100 or so years.

You can read John Wooden’s full obituary here.
photo credit: Rich Clarkson/Sports Illustrated, via Getty Images
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Giddy Up

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Giddy Up

Giddy-up, now! YEE HAW!
Meanest bronc you ever saw.

He kicks and neighs, bucks and brays,
Spins around and makes you pay.

Wildest horse I ever rode.
Closest I’ve come to gettin’ throw’ed.

Just when I thought he had me floor’ed,
Mom reached down and pulled the cord.

Phil HausslerWritten by Phil Haussler.



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: