Among the varied (and rather eccentric) reasons I retain a post office box in Mendocino county is this: I get to participate in a county-wide community of poets. For over ten years I have shared readings and writings with this community in art galleries, museums, libraries, conference rooms, and on air. Our community is largely skinny and grey-haired, tending more towards passionate than tepid, and entirely idiosyncratic.

And it’s that time of year: the season when the poets of Mendocino county emerge from [relative] obscurity and come together to share our best work in an annual marathon reading known as the Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration.

Alas, with the latest variants, surges, and positivity rates of the Covid-19 pandemic circulating through our communities, this formerly in-person event has once again gone digital and online. (Rather than gathering together in an upstairs room facing the ocean, we were instructed to send .mp4 files.)

The poems of 51 poets are being broadcast this month on Dan Robert’s inimitable radio show, Rhythm Running River, (running alternative Sundays from 3-5PM Pacific Time) via the county’s public broadcasting station KZYX&Z. (For several years, when I lived full-time in Mendocino county, I was a DJ on that station, doing a show called “Native Sound” from 10PM-midnight on alternate Tuesday nights.)

Back when I was a university professor, and dared to incorporate poetry into one of the modules in my undergraduate environmental studies/humanities class, my students often erred in thinking that poetry was inaccessible to them, or had to rhyme, or was too hard to write.

Then, with much coaxing and reassurances, they wrote their own. Of course, what they came up with was far more complex and nuanced than they believed themselves capable of writing, and as we read and shared students’ poems, we all got to know each other in ways that would otherwise have never occurred.

This year, this season, while our hearts and souls are pummeled with the idiocy and nihilistic threats of the war on Ukraine; sickened by our national hand-wringing over guns and the ugliness of the January 6th insurrection; scorched by climate-change-induced heatwaves and out-of-control wildfires, I only had the wherewithal to create one poem.

Which you can listen to, or read, below.

“Precipitate” – Audio poem by Jeanine Pfeiffer


Dan’s Rhythm Running River radio show continues to be a tremendous gift. Where else can we access hours of poetry, interspersed with world music, freely?

Subscribe to his newsletter by emailing him on his website and you will receive playlists and files to stream or download every time a new show comes out.

The line-up for Hour One of Rhythm Running River 06052022 show

6 thoughts on “Precipitate

  1. I went through your blog and your poetry ‘ Precipitate ‘. Beautifully written . But the line which I liked most is : a personal climate change . Even overall climate remains as it is personal climate chases sometimes for generally for the personal good . Change is the law of the nature . So is climate change . And so is personal climate change . Thanks !

  2. Wow, that was quite a poem… revealing, powerful, affecting… thought provoking… (I liked the graphic also.)

  3. Of course , Climate crisis is there . That’s why Bonn Climate Change Conference of UNFCCC’S Subsidiary Bodies are on from 6th June to 16th June . This is the biggest crisis the mankind has ever faced . But for that we all are responsible . On the name of development we neither left forests nor mountains . We have contaminated first our rivers , then our seas , then our Oceans . Now we are contaminating our space . Your are absolutely right . Thanks !

  4. “We choose, and choose, and choose again…” We humans, those who can choose. Here is a pivotal question, and I love the image that frames it: “Who will release their tightly cupped hands/allowing the ultimate blessing to flow/into the cracks and fissures/of a world where separation has become our unspoken language…”. Who will forfeit their carbon, and who will dare open to human connection, since now more than ever we seem to live in “a world where separation has become our unspoken language”. Thank you, Jeanine, for these lyrically expressed truths.

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