The Color of Your Heart

(Written for my art students at Howard Street Charter School, 2012)

The color of your heart is deep and wide–

It gathers all around me

And fills my days with laughter rich

And teaches me to be

More colorful myself, spilling all

My deepest hues

(Those I tend to hide inside)

Instead of showing them, like you.

Together we can paint the world to

Create a masterpiece

Of love and harmony and then

Our world can be at peace.


No Monsters Here

(a poem written for my students in 2011, after news of a school shooting incident)

Four walls around us protect

Not only from the elements,

But from the ‘Out There’;


In here, there are no monsters;

Hydras, Chimeras, Griffins

and Dragons, STAY OUT!


There is a bubble around

Us–we are safe and sound.

Even if you pound, pound, pound,


We won’t worry because

In this room no monsters

Roam; we shine in this room.

Some of Us Crawl

“It is legitimate to crawl after the wings are broken.” William Stafford


To have wings is to have hope.

So much like a bird,

hope soars overhead, urging

us all (those of us broken and hopeless)

to look up; look out of ourselves.

But it seems too easy to look in

and see the ragged absence of wings.


Though some of us do crawl.


I crawl, dragging myself forward.

The shadow in my path, gone first,

then returning.

I look up–

There is a surge of joy in me!

To see hope like this is to see the future.

Anarchy of Love

There is disorder:

No one can understand why we are loved

when we are so unlovable.

Love flows unceasing, nonetheless.

It is deeper and wider and more permanent

than anything we can fathom.


A lawlessness of love governs:

where there is unkindness,

there is forgiveness;

free of judgement, love comes down

and surrounds each one of us–

whether we are ready or not.


There is a wildness in this love–a wideness and permanence

that grows around each of us and so softens the brambles of our humanity.


” In 1972, when I moved to Oregon with my three children, I had never been to the state before and I did not know what to expect. My three children and I moved here from Southern California. The year we moved here was Oregon’s coldest season in a long time. We came by Greyhound Bus.

I have seen a lot of Oregon’s mountains, the Columbia River and the Coast. The Coast is what I like most.

I like living in Oregon a lot, even if it gets really cold sometimes during the winter, and I like all the rain we get. It makes things so green all the time.

I’ll never move back to California because after you live here, you get webbed feet. My children went to Salem schools and my grandchildren have gone to Jefferson Schools.”

–Connie Silverstein


“I graduated from Jefferson High School in 1944, in a class of 14. Two of my classmates were already in the armed services.

When the war ended, my sister went back to Nebraska to be with her husband but I was in love with Oregon, so I stayed here. Fortunately some very good people: Lettie Stansberry Mixell and Bud and Laura Wattenbarger, took me in and sort of looked after me. They became life long friends. Eventually I married James Wied, whose grandparents homesteaded a lot of land around Jefferson. They were also related to Jacob Conser, who founded the city of Jefferson, which was first named Santiam City (and it was on the other side of the river). There was no bridge, so the only way to cross the river was by horse-drawn ferry. Eventually there was a flood and Santiam City was no more. It was re-named Jefferson. Jacob Conser built the house which is now the library.

A doctor would come to Jefferson by train. When the mother of my husband and his two sisters was 13 years old, a young man was enamored of her, but she rejected his advances. He brought a note to her class room saying someone outside wanted to see her and when she got outside, he hit her in the head with an axe and buried her in the wood pile. Fortunately it didn’t kill her. He was apprehended and served a long jail sentence. However Lulu died quite young as a result of the injury. I learned of this incident after I married into the Wied family and read many reports of it when I was doing genealogy research. Some of it even appeared in the San Fransisco papers.

Jefferson has grown a lot residentially in the last years, but not as much business-wise. Of course some of us like the small town flavor!”

–Marcella King Wied