Poems: Mill River Flood Commemoration

Mill River Flood Commemoration

All month, I’ve been writing and sharing a series of poems inspired by historical document “pins” (information posters placed at various points along the way) that have been placed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Mill River Flood here where I live in Western Massachusetts. My initial plan was to write a poem for every pin but there were just too many pins (70+) but I still used quite a few of the pins from the StoryMap project that digitally renders the story of the flood.

My aim was to understand the story of the flood on another level by engaging with the historical pins as texts. I already had knowledge of the flood and it devastating impact on the village where I live (many people died — the dam was faulty — the rich mill owners never had to pay the price for cutting corners).

You can either read my poems forward (following the pins, which followed the waters as the dam broke and the river surged forward) or read them in reverse (using the hashtag I created to track the poems) to track the impact of the flood from downriver, upward.

Mill River/Leeds Artwork

This beautiful artwork by my neighbor – Heidi Stevens — was featured as part of a commemoration ceremony we had this month, where the names of all victims of the flood were read aloud, so that we — the community — would not forget them. Heidi used found river glass for her work. We still find glass, pottery, buttons and other materials in the river, an echo of the past in the form of lost objects.

Peace (flows forward),

Made In A Morning

Music Note

No real reason to post these but the sketch art above is from a Daily Create prompt and the poem below is from a Mastodon prompt.

Sing Cicada Sing

Peace (sharing it),

Mill River Flood: Art

Yesterday, at a 150th commemoration of a tragic river flood due to faulty dam by wealthy mill owners, some local artists shared their work, using found objects from the river that still surface — glass, buttons, ceramics, tools, and more.

I used two of those art pieces (map and collage) for this digital remembrance (we also read the names of those from our village who lost their lives that day in 1874.)

Peace (and remembrance),

A Room Becomes A Turntable

TurnTable Room (remix)

For today’s Daily Create, the prompt was to “remix your world” using an image. I had a photo of an empty basement, where my band used to practice, and when I did a little tinkering in LunaPic, the room became a turntable (by accident).

And of course, a turntable requires some scratching.

Peace (and sound),

Four Poems: Moth, Silence, Flower, Flood

Moth Flicker

Here are four poems from today and yesterday. The one above is from the Daily Haiku prompts off Mastodon, where today’s prompt was “moth.”

Silence Map

This second is inspired by a poem shared by Terry, along with some explanations and possibilities and the concept of a “silence map” took hold in my mind.

First Bloom of Spring

A third poem is from the morning’s prompt at DS106 Daily Create, about remixing a poem by Thomas Moore, to make it a bit more upbeat and cheerful.

Mill River Flood poem10

Finally, this last one is part of a series of poems I am writing, inspired by some local historical work on the 150th anniversary of the Mill River Flood in Western Massachusetts. I am using the text and stories of dozens of pin markers to craft small poems. (see my poems here)

Peace (in verse),