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.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Are You Really Pro-Life?

I have expressed a similar reasoning on this blog before.  To me, pro-life means you are for all life, not just the life of an unborn fetus.  It means you are against anything that destroys life.  If you treasure life you should be against war and guns because they kill human life. If you are for life then you should promote helping people not to die of hunger or neglect or homelessness. That's pro-life.  Why is an unborn baby's life more valuable than a homeless child's, or an innocent victim of war in a foreign country, or any of the thousands of people killed by handguns every year?

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I see Cleveland as a time not yet come,
a book we haven’t read, the tenacious hope 
of next year tangled in its bridges and highways,
beaming off the silvery water of a Great Lake.

A place where Christmas memories and food memories
are built into our bones, where you can step into a diamond
and hear an orchestra, or on any given day view a Rembrandt,
a Van Gogh, or hear poetry in a courtyard.

I believe in the Native Americans who named 
our crooked river, the Traffic Guardians 
welcoming you across the great divide of east and west,
into multicultural streets and towns.

In the jowls and crags of tumultuous industry
I no longer see smoke and filth - its former fame.
I see a place where Grandpa delivered ice, and
Dad played catch with a Cleveland Indian on the streets of the Heights.

God’s good creation surrounds and envelops us
in the glorious greenery of the Emerald Necklace
that we wear so well, with the fearless changing 
of the seasons flowing in our lifeblood.

by Diane Vogel Ferri

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Living in the Present and Compulsive Journal Writing

This is a photo of a couple decades of personal journals and all the pages I've deleted from them . (Actually this is the second go-round).
After a year of spiritual searching this is my attempt to live in the present moment and accept that the past no longer exists.

We all know that the past is gone, but sometimes our minds and hearts do not accept this fact.  I ripped out, shredded or whited out almost half of every journal because they were filled with angst, depression, sadness, regrets and embarrassing entries. I have had a compulsive need to write every emotion and thought in hopes of understanding myself and my life better. It's just my way, but my self-expression needs have been excessive as well as my incessant need to understand everything about my life.

While it is comforting to know how far those situations and my emotional life have come over the years they are not things I want to remember any longer - about myself or anyone else for that matter.

We all grow and change and learn throughout life and at my age I have nothing left to prove. I do not have a need to be right - just to be happy.  Forgiveness becomes easier and easier as I go through life. Not sweating the small stuff is also easier now and even addressing the small slights in life seems so silly in retrospect.

This is a goal I've had for retirement - having the time to reread these many journals, do some reminiscing, and put them in the past where they belong. (Also, knowing that someone could read my years of instability was a good motivator as well!)

But there are many, many pages left. Page upon page of the joy my children have given me through the years, of falling in love and marrying the love of my life at age 40, of singing, traveling and writing, of friends and family gatherings… many joys that I hope to read about again someday and know that while I spent many years in emotional pain and necessary growth -  it has been a life of many joys as well.

Monday, January 5, 2015


The Grief

is a straightjacket:
no time limits,
the futile struggle to be set free

awakens you with phantom voices,
burning images,
hovers, even when
others think it should be gone,

removes the things you loved,
hides them from your eyes,
crawls through the imprisoned body
with waves of lethargic pain.

No conscious control,
just a disaster of tears pushing out
of your ruined face, a craving for comfort
when the comforting time is past.