Lois Levinson

Diminished Things

A diminished seventh chord hangs in the air.
The beloved old dog paces in darkness and silence.

On the high plains the sun-bleached skull of an elk.
In a pueblo the collapsed adobe wall of a house.

Old shipwrecks sail a dry lakebed.
Ashes of burned forests ride the wind.

Flocks of migrating birds fall dead from the sky.
A bottle of wine kept corked for years turns sour.

I’ve entered the time of diminished expectations,
elusive proper nouns, inaudible treble notes.

The print fades in my treasured books,
pages yellowed and brittle.

Venice subsides in rising seas.
Notre Dame, charred, still stands.


Lois Levinson is the author of a poetry collection, Before It All Vanishes, and a chapbook, Crane Dance, both published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in Gyroscope, Entropy, Canary Journal, Global Poemic, The Carolina Quarterly, The MacGuffin, Cloudbank and other journals, as well as the anthology, An Uncertain Age, Poems By Bold Women of a Certain Age.