Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Some of Summer 2009

Sunset on Lake Erie
This is glass - at the Corning Museum of Glass
My son got engaged! He did a good job choosing a ring!
Mother-daughter pedicures :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Dance

Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye, but the dance lives on. On many an occasion when I am dancing I have felt touched by something sacred. In those moments I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists.
I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing... Then is is the eternal dance of creation. The creator and creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing... and dancing... and dancing until there is only ...the dance.

By Michael Jackson

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Passage of Time

An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth. Bonnie Friedman

When I am away from home on a vacation it is remarkably easy for me to have very few thoughts in my head. It's a vacation for my normally over-thinking brain. Last week we went to Niagra Falls to visit the wineries, see a play and relax without much of a schedule. We stayed on the 25th floor of the Sheraton in Canada and this was the view from our room.

I sat by the floor-to-ceiling window trying to read but always distracted by the movement of the water and the spectacular view. There was a moment when I had a bit of an emotional revelation about how many times I had been to the falls. Each time was a different phase of my life.

Besides the proverbial meaning of life, I think the most difficult concept to grasp is the passage of time. There are moments when the brevity of life stuns you, and I had one of those moments as I stared at the beauty.

I stood there, on the American side, my baby sister in a stroller, holding the back of my little brother's shirt, as a worried older sister will do. My parents much younger than I am now. We inhaled the mist, cooled in the shower of droplets.
I stood there as part of a traveling musical as a teenager. The winter falls were partially frozen, the mist a cold cloud as I stood in my plaid hooded maxi-coat, my boyfriend nearby.

I stood there, on the Canadian side, my daughter's little two year-old hand in mine among the roar and vibrations of the falls. My son growing in my womb.

Then they were seven and nine years old, leaning on the railing of a boat taking us to the foot of the falls, smiles under sunglasses, wrapped in blue raincoats.

Then suddenly that phase of my life was over and I stood there with someone new in the exquisite days of new love and the whole world looked new to me. In a photo my wispy hair stood straight up in the damp breeze, his brown curls unmoving.

Last week we stood there once again among the roar and the mist and the power of the water. The rainbow still hanging over the falls, giving me hope, tears in my eyes for the knowledge that I had stood there, by those falls, at different times of my life with all of those I love the most in this world - and with tears for the bittersweet passage of time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I 'm sorry for the sad lack of inspiring posts lately. My heart hasn't been in the writing mode this summer and I'm sorely disappointed in myself for that. I am taking a break for this week and hopefully will return with something worthwhile to say. Enjoy these summer days and say a prayer for me if you would. So, as Tigger would say "TTFN! Ta-ta for now!" stop back and visit me in a week. Love you all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On the Deck

wallowing in my head
looking for a poem
gives me ADHD.
All I can see is the red bird
making U-turns in mid-air
to avoid me as I sit next
to the birdfeeder.
All I can hear is a distant hammer,
someone is building something
just like I would like to be
building a poem.
I have to watch every time
the dog bolts across the yard
for a black squirrel
even though we both know
she will never catch it.
Then the pink petunias
are nice to look at and so is the
fountain that just turned on next door.
The hammock looks inviting
but it's difficult to write lying down.
I notice the air smells sweet
after the the rain and
OH HELL - forget the poem writing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

This is taken from "The Writer's Almanac" on July 11, 2009.

It's the birthday of the woman who first said "Well-behaved women seldom make history"; historian and writer Laurel Thatcher Ulrich born in Sugar City Idaho (1938). She wrote several books about the lives of women in colonial New England, including A Midwives Tale (1990), which won the Pulitzer Prize for history. And back when she was a graduate student, she wrote an obscure academic article about Puritan funeral services and she included the quote "well-behaved women seldom make history." She was saying that nobdy paid much attention to the group of ordinary law-abiding Puritan women she was writing about, because everyone was so focused on the women accused of witchcraft in Salem. But her quote got taken out of context and used as a rallying cry for women to break away from their expected roles and misbehave. It got reprinted on T-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs and tote bags. And finally she decided that if she was getting so much press in the mainstream culture, she might as well use it, and she wrote a book with the same title, published in 2007. The cover features a woman wearing a shirt with the authors' own famous quote.

Friday, July 10, 2009

COEXIST - Science versus Beliefs

Today the Cleveland Plain Dealer included an article by Cornelia Dean of the New York Times entitled "On scientific issues, study finds belief gap among Americans." Interesting. The article starts out saying :
When it comes to climate change, the teaching of evolution and the state of the nation's research enterprise, there is a large gap between what scientists think and views of ordinary Americans, a new survey has found.
One of the findings was this:
Almost a third of ordinary Americans say human beings have existed in their current form since the beginning of time, a view held by only 2 percent of the scientists.
I was raised in a Christian church and I believed everything I was taught there. But I also went to public schools and recall believing what I was taught there as well. I might be a shallow thinker, but to me, there was never a big conflict. Science can be proven. Faith is something you believe without proof. I believe in both. I remember sitting in 9th grade biology and learning about evolution. I pondered it for a short time and decided that the notion of Adam and Eve was probably that they represented the first human beings as we know them today. I didn't disbelieve the Bible, but I could see the proof of evolution. Moreover, what's the difference? I trust that God created the world and all that lives in it in His time and within His plan. Learning about evolution did not hurt my faith at all.
I say - Science and Beliefs should COEXIST and we leave the rest up to God, and if you don't believe in God I guess you can prove where the universe came from in the first place, can't you?
To read the article in its entirety click HERE.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another Good-bye

I had a wonderful childhood full of aunts and uncles and cousins. There were annual picnics and celebrations, game playing, silliness and singing around the piano. My mother's side of the family was in the Pittsburgh area and the trek there was always highly anticpated due to the fun awaiting us. You can read a poem about those experiences HERE. We spent many a New Year's Eve at the home of my Aunt Pat and Uncle Dick and my six cousins. The big highlight of the evening was when Uncle Dick would step out onto the front porch at midnight and play Auld Lang Syne on his trumpet. The neighbors would all come out and clap.
I never saw my uncle in a bad mood. He loved life and loved the Lord. He was a robust man and hugging him was always like hugging a barrel. He was jovial, fun, and found great joy in music. He has been suffering from Alzheimer's for the past few years, but that is the uncle I will always remember. He was the last of my five uncles . He passed away this morning at the age of 91. I know he is up there playing his trumpet for the Lord.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson - Part 2

I wrote the following post a few days ago. Now I have just finished watching the memorial service for Michael Jackson. I cannot describe what a beautiful, respectful, appropriate and spiritually uplifting event it was to watch. It went far beyond the music to his humanitarian efforts and unpublicized encounters that touched people personally. It made me want to be a better person and what better legacy can a person leave than that? At the end, a unscripted and heartbreaking moment occured when his daughter Paris went to the mic,and through her tears said ," I just want to say, ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you can imagine. I just wanted to say I love him very much." Some of you reading this may think it's silly to honor an entertainer this way. I've wondered the same thing. I wrote the following in an effort to explain it to myself.

I've spent the past week and a half trying to understand why I am so affected by the death of Michael Jackson. I have never felt so sad at the passing of someone I never met. Clearly, I am not alone, but it has taken me by surprise. Watching old videos, hearing the songs again, being mesmerized by the dancing - I pondered this phenomenon. The top ten selling albums last week were all Michael's. His radio play has been said to have increased 1735% countrywide. There were 2.6 million downloads of his songs in the first three days after his passing. In explaining this, a spokesman from Rolling Stone eloquently said "His music has been liberated from the eccentricities." That's it. We can go back and love the songs and be amazed at the showmanship and innovation knowing that he will no longer do anything curious or weird to distract us from his real talents.

How can one person have such an influence and impact on the world by just being an entertainer? He is, at this point, arguably the most famous celebrity in history - bigger than Elvis or Marilyn, who also both burned out too soon. For me, I realized he has been around most of my life. We are close in age and I was a preteen fan when he was a preteen singing "ABC".

But what does the word influence mean? When you can actually remember the night in 1983 when you saw the moonwalk for the first time (and there is not a lot I can remember from 1983!). When you can picture your little children dancing around the living room to "Beat It" (and they remember it too). When certain songs you hear now bring back memories. When you are still mesmerized by the seemingly un-human dance moves in a video you've seen dozens of times. When you now realize how many musical artists copy his moves from decades ago - I guess that influence. He was, in fact, a part of our lives.

So that's what I have figured out so far. It's a cultural phenomenon that I'm trying to understand. I'd be glad to hear your take on it. Meanwhile, Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson - the peace we can't even come close to here on Earth - you did what you were born to do. You used all the talents God gave you - and that 's the best thing we can do in our short lives.

Monday, July 6, 2009

An Anniversary

We are celebrating our 13th anniversary today. It has been quite an adventure in marital extremes. I am more than grateful that we both chose to stick it out. It's getting better all the time. Happy Anniversary, Babe.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July 2009

Take a moment and think back to your fifth grade social studies class and remember how this country came to be. If it weren't for a few good men stepping up, taking leadership roles and fighting for our independence - we wouldn't be out partying today. God bless America.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Random Photos

The heavens are telling. . .
I give up - what is it?
I cleaned out old Christmas boxes - and I do mean old! This box held Christmas trimmings since it held my daughter's bassinett - almost 30 years ago! Talk about time flying! It was kind of sad to see it go although it was a pain to try to find what was in the bottom of it every year.

Our yucca plant in all its glory.