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June Poet Spotlight: Auburn Striped Water Poet Jim Teeters

Hello, Poets and friends of Poetry. 

We have made it to the lovely month of June, where the sun begins to shine a bit more, and the rain gets warmer.  For this month’s poetry spotlight, I’m focusing on a member of the Auburn Striped Water Poetry group, Jim Teeters.  

Jim has over 50 years’ experience in teaching and training adults. He is the original author of Teach with Style (2013 ASTD Press), which has inspired adult instructors for over 15 years. He has taught adults as a social work professor, agency trainer, religious educator, and private consultant.

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Poet Jim Teeters | courtesy Jim Teeters

Jim says, “I love to create learning environments that promote personal discovery and effectiveness.” He has a BA in Sociology from the University of Washington and a Master of Social Work from the University of Hawaii. Jim has worked with youth for many years through the Friends Church – youth camp director, counselor, and youth group leader.

 In addition to writing Teach with Style Jim has also published, Going Intergenerational: All Ages Learning Bible Truths Together (2010 Barclay Press), and Reservations: Poems (2011 Finishing Line Press). He has poems in several anthologies, and has self-published several chapbooks of poetry, and is the author of 10 poetry collections. He has worked with adults, youth, and children in poetry writing workshops and events. He is currently writing a novel with his high school grandson (in editing phases) currently titled Quench the Fire (a young adult fantasy adventure). Jim holds a writer’s certificate from the University of Washington Extension. His latest books are Because of This – Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: How to Live, Love and Lead and Beware of Dog: Fun Poems for School Kids published by MoonPath Press.

I have worked with Jim on many occasions through Striped Water Poets, and have been a bit of a thorn in his side during the regular meetings, striving to make a poem better, which sometimes means turning it inside out and backward.  I hope he knows my comments and suggestions are always for the betterment of the piece, but sometimes I wonder if he thinks I’m just messing with him because I can.  I promise, that is not the case.

Here’s a few of Jim’s poems for you to enjoy:

Odiferous Omen

My first clue we’re done with winter’s ravage
The yellow blossoms of the Skunk Cabbage

My heart sings when I see their beauty swell
Their golden hues emerge before their smell

Yes, their putrid odor makes my heart sing
The irony of their stink brings us spring

Fire Breathing Egg

If I ask for an egg will
You give me last year’s calendar
A hula hoop?

If I ask for a kiss
Will you drink my hot blood
Cold-hearted as you are
With your deep
Ocean eyes?

Can I count on you
To pass the salt
Would you turn me into a pillar
If I happen look back?
Or cast your spell and turn me

Into a fire breathing egg, or
Cast me hard fast
Into the dungeon onion
Breath of your love.

River

A Zen Master says, “Life is like a river.”
His students respond, “We don’t get that.
How can life be like a river?”
“Okay,” the master says, “life is not like a river.”
– Anonymous

the river
dashes along
each twisted mile
seen through broken windows
of time

you can either follow
this turbulent journey
unreservedly
to rush and roll

or turn wearily away
to loll about on
sun drenched slabs of stone
               carefree as
fallen leaves

Beware of Dog

Beware of dog
Be aware of dog
Be wary of dog
Don’t be where dog is
Be where dog is not

Beware of cat
I’ll end with that!

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