the best of me


this day could be enjoyable
this day may hold surprises
but i will never know
if i don’t
open up my eye-ses
whatever comes at me today
i’ll try to greet it nicely
what if it’s an earthquake?
well i’m not sure, precisely
what if it’s an unpaid bill?
what if it’s a flood?
what if it’s some ghoulish guy
who wants to suck my blood?
what if it’s a plague of frogs?
i haven’t got a clue
but i’ll just bring
the best of me
and she’ll know what to do

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by wild one, courtesy
posted on delay while recovering from surgery yesterday

out of order

today i am in surgery
tomorrow i should
hope to be
a new, bionic, me
waving_tigeri set this verse up on delay
so i won’t have to miss a day
cuz i’m a daily
poster, chronically
it’s nothing major, just a hip
but i’m so happy
i may trip (!)
cuz i will be titanium
can’t wait to dance
can’t wait to stomp
i’ma hafta miss
the daily prompt
and that’s the one thing
messin’ with my cranium

so here’s to you,
my wordpress peeps
i’ll see you in
my morphine sleep
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
*props to my girl sia for the song titanium

calm yourself

trying not to panic
panic makes things worse
control the things
i can control
focus on the verse
panic-1393619_960_720the world is
closing in on me
the challenges
i will rise
as i have risen
but damn…
this is intense
distract myself
with comedy
mute the
inner screaming
sip some tea
with no caffeine
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by creozavr courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – panic

everything he had he gave

Benjamin was generous
a man above all men for us
the guy that you could go to
when your ship has run aground
a kind word rested on his lips
for anyone down on their chips
and sage advice was handed out
like cool rain falling down
everything he had he gave
money, shelter, food, first-aid…
he passed away in poverty
the richest man around

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by joggie courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – generous

let’s horse around

one day i’ll get around
to being more profound
today is not that day
today i want to say
let’s all go out and play
shirk our work
put down our pens
and all be kids again
let’s chase the ice cream man
play duck duck goose
play kick the can
play fruit tag and red rover
before the summer’s over
play jump rope, hopscotch,
do handstands,
dignity be damned
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by alexas fotos, courtesy
Daily prompt – jump

breeze sways

calm cool
blue green
style goes
who cares
calm cool
blue green

© 2011 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by dimitris vetsikas, courtesy
Daily prompt – stylish

sometime in july


sitting inside
this shell
of a car
that will not stir,
will not start,
waiting for dad
to rescue me…
it’s been hours,
where could he be?
but the silence of
the snow is sweet
a sound that’s
on the street
in here i hear it
swirl and fall
and i’m amazed
at the sound of it all
and if he never
gets here,
if i freeze & die
they’ll find me with
a placid smile,
sometime in July.

© 1982 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by efraimstochter, courtesy
Daily prompt – silence

perhaps today we should not hike

the clouds are holding court
hanging low as if for sport
perhaps some cloud celebrity’s
on trial for some indecency
embezzling some cirrus guy
the clouds are crowded in the sky
packed tight from end to end

they’re saying things that i don’t like
perhaps today we should not hike
they’re rumbling emphatically
their cheeks have greyed dramatically
perhaps they’ll cancel classes
until this cloud thing passes
and  skies are blue again

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by unsplash, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – hike

starting to look pretty slender

the passionate fruit
seduced the banana81463e48-bb48-45fa-b6e3-af8a6b3496ea_1-b554657e43d83c280a574d836dd59ff6

he thought himself
a smoothie
banana girl,
swept up in his world
was becoming
a little bit woozy
they noticed too late
other things on the plate
and soon after were
dumped in the blender
when they read the word “rival”
their chance for survival
was starting to
look pretty slender
so it comes to the end
for our orchard of friends…
which is better for us
than for them


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
created for the Daily prompt – passionate

no lighter

it’s 4/20
in the park
no lighter,
not a spark
not so hot
in windy
can’t get
the sparks
to catch
the cops
when you
a match?
; }


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by skeeze, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – together

web slinger


the fragile threads
that built
this web
have just been
pulled apart
the fly escapes
the spider makes
a relocated start
so it was
with you and i
you the spider
i the fly
escaped your prison
flew away…
rebuild, ensnare
some other prey

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by sethink, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – fragile

nephew to the king

the smarmy slugslug

slogged his foes
with cruel insults
and verbal blows
which would be hard
to miscontrue…
good thing he only
had a few…
half of whom
did not do words —
the other half were birds

 his insults paled
to uncle snail’s,
the king of slimy zingers
the slug was not
as erudite and surely no
his conversations
fast dissolved
cuz he was less evolved
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by pixel2013, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – slog

wi-fi hot spot

i just got a text
and frankly i’m perplexed
i don’t have a cell phone
so how could they
have found me?
i just got a text
including autocorrect
if i’m right about
who sent it,
it astounds me
i just got a text
and really, now,
what’s next?
i can’t unplug:
technology surrounds me.

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
created for the Daily prompt – perplexed

the news is pretty twisted

al madrigal.PNGthere’s al madrigal
interviewing radicals
tryin’ to wring humor from
extremists unrestricted
lewis black gets ever madder
is it funnier or sadder?
he’s a pretty angry fellow
but when journalism’s yellow
we need comedy to tell the news
when hatred’s used to sell the news
the news is pretty twisted
where’s the walter cronkitescbs_evening_news_with_cronkite_1968
and the journalistic ethics
i wish the people watching fox
were watching it like skeptics
i wish they all
could see it
in the way these “newsmen” act
these people aren’t giving you the facts

regurgitating talking points
the same sound bites each minute
telling you don’t use your mind
just take it how we spin it
if we watched cable news all day
we’d all be talking dumb
so thanks again jon stewart and
the daily show alum

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
created for the Daily prompt – radical
images courtesy
gif courtesy

he’s a little eros

animated-cupid-image-0036poor little cupid
sittin’ on a cloud
doesn’t have
a girlfriend
isn’t he allowed?
i’m a lonely angel
he’s a little eros
we could be an item
we could be
each other’s heroes
dear when you flew by me
whistling romanticallyanimated-angel-image-0010
you seemed so
debonair and sharp
your hair a windy mess
you almost all undressed
zing! went the strings of my harp! *
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
created for the Daily prompt – zing
* shout out to my girl judy, doing the james f. hanley original verse here

5 on 1

the day they killed the old oak tree
we wouldn’t soon forgetstump
they hacked at her
for hours
they all were
drenched in sweat
she didn’t
go down easily,
she put up
quite the fight,
but they won out,
‘cuz 5 on 1,
which didn’t feel so right
we thought we heard her weeping with every teasing breeze
a kind of solidarity among the other trees
it took one final insult, she came down with a whump,
and to this day we’re haunted by the stump

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by oisin connolly, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – stump

autonomous automaton’s vacation- a sequel

view the original, autonomous automatons forbidden

the robot, now autonomous,
from his favorite seat in the back of the bus,
recounted all the great things he’d accomplished…
he’d fought the fight and won the war
for robot rights, but wait, there’s more:
he got a job at the Apple store…
another robot might have been more pompous
he checked his phone for new sound bites
and looked up travel package sites
his benefits included one week paid
he’d saved a lot of money up

he wanted some place sunny but
some parts of him did better in the shade

he google-mapped exotic spots
not too rainy, not too hot
someplace he could travel to by boat
he liked indoor facilities
and it would need utilities,
so… something far away but not remote
and it would need wall outlets, by and large,
‘cuz after all the point was to recharge


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
original robot by brent worden, courtesy
alligator boxers & background by me & clip art
created for the Daily prompt – recharge

skinny sally has a secret

lady-294555_960_720skinny sally
has a secret,
how she stays
so little
when the meal
is sandwiches
she only eats
the middle

she sets aside the bread
and eats whatever
was between it
quite a stack
of unused bread,
i’ve seen it
she licks
both pieces
clean and then
just throws
what’s left away
extremely entertaining
when it’s peanut b&j


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by clker-free-vector-images, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – sandwich

my anomaly


my little queen
she skipped right past
the princess phase
and went straight on
to queen
less like a figure-headed type
more like a figurine
uncanny, just how elegant
this girl has always been
her eyes intense
her common sense
her skin like
her class just doesn’t
somehow she never lets it
such perfection is my girl…
i don’t know where
she gets it

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – elegant
if you liked this one you might like this, which further explains,
or for that matter, any of these from the “my two” category

heads turn on her arrival



the opportunist mink’ll
set her laser sights to stun
set her onyx eyes to twinkle
hunting season has begun

she is to morals machiavelli
her ruthlessness unrivaled
she is to beauty botticelli
heads turn on her arrival

she’s in control, she holds the reins
the men surround her, rapt
but hunting is a two-way lane
and one day she’ll be trapped


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – twinkle

a teasing rain

corn-1408154_960_720a teasing rain is looming
a lingering loitering drop
dangles dramatically
in mid-air
then ever-so slowly
it lands on
jimmy’s baldness
it ricochets
in pieces
but hours will pass
before at last
the storm cloud
team releases
all the other raindrops
all the other plops
jimmy needs a deluge
to quench his thirsty crops

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by marcus spiske, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – plop

naomi thinks she’s ready

naomi held her first affair
and all her closest
friends were there
to celebrate her savoir-faire
but hey, o.k., no pressure
culinary school had been
her last hurrah,
now five years in
to her first-year semester
we won’t discuss the details
we’ll take you to the end
naomi would have done this
if she’d been a better friend
the guests were getting hungry
after all the fails
they pinned their hopes on
eating something sweet,
with no entrails…
the cake was a mistake
no, scratch that, a disaster
among the inner workings
there may have been some plaster
there surely were some cat hairs
and what looked like once-ate greens
the friends made their excuses
then went straight to Krispy Kreme


cat cake

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture  courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – cake

simply weak from hunger

there, there
economists will wonder
if i’m too excited here
or simply weak from hunger

those ecstatic orthodox
don’t know about the ecru
eczema flakes inside my socks
upper echelons
today may celebrate:
ectoplasm, icky stuff,sashimi-471795_960_720
is served up on a plate
will have an ectoblast
excluding old
eclectic me…
it won’t be telecast…
enthusiastic bats
may use excess
with e’s and c’s
embracing i
expect a long vacation

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture from cegoh, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – eclipse

closer to the ground

i start each morning armed
and ready for a fight —
my bag with water bottle, left,
a hard book on my right.

to walk the sidewalks of NY5th_ave_sidewalk_new_york_city
you have to have a plan,
a strategy to never get
knocked over by the man.

you keep far right
and yet and still
they’ll walk right into you
unless you have artillery
that’s sure to leave a bruise.

i hold my path, i plow ahead,
come on at me, i dare them.
if they choose rude
it is my goal
to lastingly impair them.

so if you want to come at me
don’t cry when you get downed
‘cuz i’m built like a bulldog
and i’m closer to the ground.

© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture from streetenglish, courtesy
Daily prompt – sidewalk

repeating in a loop

a melody is haunting me
it follows where i go
it’s amplified
when i’m inside
with lyrics i don’t know
so ba da dee
da doobie doo
it came from some commercial
singing sea-gull-648774_960_720da skeet marie
do doobie dee
insipid and inertial
la bee li bo
i didn’t know
it was so resolute
with scoopy doo
and tigger too
repeating in a loop
we found a cure
for clinging tunes
it takes concerted effort
we drown them out
with something else
intrinsically no better
it helps to know the lyrics
and the melody by heart
two princes by the spin doctors
is where we always start
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by the films42, courtesy
Daily prompt – melody

snake in the grass

he charms you with
his promises
you feel a subtle quiver
as he heads
in your direction
his wealth
you think
means strength
and sense,
his power
means intellect
you’re so enthralled
you’re missing all
the clues
of disconnect
he sports his little flag pin
so he must be patriotic
you cannot see
his rule would be
a step above despotic
you’re caught up in
the moment
for the moment
he’s the rage
you shiver
as he slithers
to the stage
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by kapa65, courtesy
created for the Daily Prompt – shiver

in need of some repair


fiona felt
so fierce today
that’s what
her outfit
seemed to say
but then the rain came out
to play
with her hair
those hours in the
beauty shop
that caused her
bank account
to drop
were wasted
at the old
bus stop,
she now needs some repair
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture from,  courtesy
Daily prompt – fierce

another unarmed teenager

hope was working e.r.
gabe was working vice
they differed in opinion
on the scope of civil rights
he had lost a partner
she had lost a son
her youngest was a victim
of a blue hand with a gun
gabe arrived with a bullet wound
a case of friendly fire
she treated him expertly,
with compassion he admired
while he was in recovery
she’d visit with her patient
they talked about humanity
in coffee conversations

yesterday another youth
was brought down by the blue
another unarmed teenager
with not enough to do
today they’re marching
for their rights,
the stakes keep getting higher
of course she’s at the rally
and that’s him, right there beside her

blm crowd
blm quote
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by the, and poster by at2w, both courtesy
Daily prompt – vice

the squirrel who lived in our shed

this is the story of duncan hines,
squirrel-1530801_960_720the squirrel who lived
in our shed
this may explain to you
why i love squirrels,
those experts at
planning ahead…
oh, never mind,
i’m not of the mind
to wax nostalgic about
a critter who ate
all the cake mix
and went on to
clean us out
of all the provisions
we stored in the shed
when we ran out of
room in the house
because now we’ve got
a meddlesome mouse
or four
making me think
that I’m not more
but a whole lot
less determined
to extol the virtues of vermin.

© 2009 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by rthnwagner, courtesy
Daily prompt – expert

resisting physics blissfully


if we were light as feathers
could we float on top of clouds?
it’s what i’ve always wanted,
i’ll say it, i ain’t proud…
logically it couldn’t be
a person half as big as me
would fall right through,
i know the science…
but if a feather in defiance
could cheat the laws of gravity
resisting physics blissfully
could sit up there despite the weather
that would be one lucky feather


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by jrperes, courtesy
Daily prompt – cheat

better look it up

a small mistake
can quickly make
a mess of a great story
some words were made to
throw us off
the path to fame and glory…
ignoble ignition invites repetition –
like gm’s recall it’s not noble at all;
ineffable, what can’t be f’d,
i can’t express with reason;
noisome isn’t noisy it just
stinks like fruit off-season;
seminal’s a fluid word
if you get my drift;
restive doesn’t get much sleep,
it works a double shift;
perverse is not perverted
but is used that way too frequently;
nugatory has no nuts,
some comfort for your allergies;
bemused is not amusing
but misused it’s too confusing;
and kinky kinds of dirty minds
don’t go for formication…
fallacious words you may have heard
invite regurgitation
but they’re rarely used by playas…
i guess we’ll call these kinds of words


© 2014 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by stocksnap, courtesy
Daily prompt – mistake

five fingers

five fingers got him in this mess
a foolish game
no more no lessChild's hands in handcuffs
his buddies scattered
with the breeze
when the cop yelled freeze
the witness swore she’d
tell the truth
the truth and nothing but
she had her own agenda
inner demons to rebut
and so she modified the facts
exonerating evan
who changed his ways
and may one day
still make it into heaven
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – witness

his heart was on his sleeve

meerkat and butterfly
some might say that bobby was
being all too obvious
you could agree with them because
his heart was on his sleeve
miss lucinda’s hobby was
snobby is as snobby does
pretentious thing
she prob’ly was
and we’re all quite relieved…
when we get on our wobbly buzz
we’re more out there than bobby was
she wouldn’t last a minute on thanksgiving.
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by lucky2013, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – obvious

much ado times two

miniature marshmallows
make much ado of nothing
but not enough of anything
one could consider fattening

if taken in small doses
a whole bunch of swallows on wires outside a windowconversely,
mini barn swallows
make much ado
of everything
and way too much
of noisiness
for helen’s
which makes
her think
to hell
with symbiosis
so helen got
her bb gun
sent those
on the run
for seconds there
the view out here was loco
now she’s back to sipping her hot cocoa
˜ Ω˜

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by jairo moretti, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – miniature

for gregor

gregor, man, you blow my mind,
you make the wheels start turning.
just when i think i know it all,
you speak and start me learning.
how would i now know any zappa*
or the source of your jacket
that’s lined in alpaca
or the reason why math
isn’t bad by a half
or when is the best time
for synchronized laughs
gregor, man, to me you are
the world in human form

well-rounded although not as round,
but almost always warm
you challenge and you entertain
enlightening my brain’s terrain

gregor macduffie on harmonica

(gregor, man, i lost your poem,
the first one that i penned…
i’ve tried to recreate it here
but if the first one reappears
i’ll update this again.)


© 1977 and 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
recreated for the Daily prompt – learning



ba ba ba bored

ba ba ba bored
ba ba ba cuz
got all my stuff done
got nothing left doin’
worth doin’
no one to play with
to run away with
i’d be okay with
all this spare time
if i could fill it
with more than a rhyme
with a master achievement
a minor accordgoogle maps, peru
a project in progress
that i could afford
looking up learning
anything new
japanese? physics?
google peru?
here’s mike with
those figures…


© 2013 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – learning

ebb and floe

when abigail turned fifty
they threw her a surprise
they didn’t have a lot of cash
they had to improvise
they painted rocks to decorate
they served a can of soup
they added stuff
to make enough
to feed the little group
dessert was just a hershey bar
sliced up in little pieces
bought with coins from piggy banks
of nephews and of nieces
the gift was all that mattered,
that was where the money went
they took up a collection
and each penny had been spent

they bought a
one-way ticket
to the north slope of alaska
including lunch
and changing once
in omaha nebraska
they added in a voucher
for a bobsled
to transport her
to meet up with
the ice floe that
her kids had ordered for her
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – fifty

as evening wandered in

two teenage lepidopterists,
bob and brother rudy
went looking for their long-lost mom
in faraway djibouti
they brought doc jellyby along,
a friend and an advisor —
rudy wasn’t fond of him,
he always seemed to stink of gin–
bob thought no one was wiser.
these two were not the outdoor type
but mom was an explorer
she’d be mad that they skipped school
but they missed and adored her.
while following a trail that she
had mentioned in a letter
rudy set his suitcase down
and bob removed his sweater.
doc jellyby suggested they
resume the search another day
as evening wandered in
blurring bits of sunshine
and diminishing his gin,
but when the bros agreed to go
they crossed paths with a feline
in spots and beige, who reeked of rage…
the large, meat-eating kind.

rudy caught the leopard’s eye,
implored him not to jeopardize
their chances for survival…
his brother fainted dead as day
the doctor upped and ran away,
which hindered bob’s revival.
the leopard sized the brothers up
but, being full from having supped,
he told them “go, be hasty,
i’ve no desire for you because
you’re half the men your mother was
and doubtless half as tasty”.
so off thy ran the two of them,
abandoning their property.
back home again these two half-men
now study leopard-optery.


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by frauke feind, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – jeopardize

if we’re smart

geese-1406725_960_720you spend your life
looking for the thing
that lasts
something to help
the time to pass
it’s not your youth
it’s not your friends
it’s not your health
these inevitably end
but family
if you do it right
if you’re lucky enough
can come pretty close
until death do we part
if we’re smart

© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Diego Torres, courtesy
Daily prompt – youth

when i fell into your eyes

since you landed on the scene
a constant state of stimulation
a high smile that won’t leave
high speed imagination
yet fear lurksA photo by Greg Rakozy.
you will have to
move on
you will have to
have a life
(please don’t)
you have been
an inspiration
a fixation
my daydream
my hesitation
i can’t imagine solitude
since you landed in my life
non-stop provocation
as in the spine tingle that goes
from toes up and around
and around and around
when i fell into your eyes
and you enveloped me
and you don’t have a clue
i’m stuck inside of you

© 2012 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Greg Rakozy, courtesy
Daily prompt – eyes


moon night-1478122_960_720when the moon was little
she’d peek through our
window at night
and we’d let her sleep over
if her momma said alright
she wore her cute pajamas
with tiny yellow flowers
she’d giggle with woo and a.k.
and keep them up all hours
now that the moon is
a grown-up
she rarely comes inside
and hardly ever sleeps over
she’s far too dignified
the woo and a.k. have
grown some too
no longer the great pretenders
but we still smile every once in a while
when the sight of her makes us remember
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by schueler-design , courtesy
created for the daily prompt – moon

the ghost in the window

inside her darkened mansion
the music has moved on
the floorboards groan now
when she roams
the empty grand salon
they used to entertain in here
the infamous elite
now she gently brushes
a dusty tapestry
she rings a bell for service
no servant will appear
she forgets
she let them go
when things went south last year
she used to be a VIP,
returned a quick riposte,
she lost her child to tragedy
but she became the ghost
ghost behind the glass-door-861007_960_720
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by jelly ng , courtesy
created for the daily prompt – ghost

on easter


on easter it was quite a thrill
to meet you out on old horse hill
you with your yellow ribbons and bows
you with nail polish on your fingers & toes
you with unnatural curls in your hair
you who your mother dolled up with great care.
and then to compare our baskets of food
which often left me in a very bad mood.
me with my jellies and chocolate bars
you with your bunnies and big candy stars
large eggs and small eggs and thick chocolate fudge–
— you never knew that i carried a grudge.

©1975 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by engel62 , courtesy
daily prompt – carry


invitationme & dawn
are getting
yellow daisies
will be carried
and for the aisle
we’ll use her walk
and draw an altar
out of chalk.
start at one
and after
we’ll have
lots of fun
at the party
in her back yard
for which you need
a membership card


©1975 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by lovetotakephotos , courtesy
daily prompt – carry

in confused exhilaration

the caterpillar hustled
in confused exhilarationcaterpillar.jpg
momma said to
pack the bags
we’re going
on vacation
her voice was
floating on a breeze

from high
above his head
he packed his
socks and underwear
and even made his bed
so proud of his
he heard his momma say
my boy keep this behavior up
you’ll be a king one day

©2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by alain wong , courtesy
made for the daily prompt – confused
if you liked this one, check out flora & fauna & whatnot

those “c” words

complicated consonants
are causing me discomfort…

like candid conversations
in another constellation,
syncopated commentators,
their conscience disencumbered…
i don’t know what’s wrong with me,
the “c”s have me outnumbered.


confiscated contraband
in careless conflagration;
a compendium of comestibles
commanding calibration;
certainly compulsive,
complexities conflated,
why can’t i cease  the “c” words?
i don’t know,
it’s complicated.

©2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by clker-free-vector-images , courtesy
made for the daily prompt – complicated
if you liked this one, check out those “p” words

too much of a reach

she has to change the light bulb
but it’s too much of a reach
she got a stool to stand on but
she’s still too far beneath
it’s way up there and she’s down here
her arm won’t stretch no further
it might look quite amusing
to a passing by observer
she got the ladder out but she
falls short an inch or four
she hates to have to say she’s not
the right man for this chore
the challenge here is daunting
cuz the ceiling fan is taunting and
she’s close enough up there to see
the paint has started peeling
the lesson learned too late in life:
people of a limited height
shouldn’t buy homes with high ceilings
©2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by blackbirdvisual1 , courtesy
made for the daily prompt – reach

seeing snakes

i’ve reached 1 in,
which i learned
from moho and yuyu.Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 11.32.03 AM

you play a snake

on his lunch break…

it captivates like voodoo,
now lunch has turned to dinner.

it’s so addictive i virtually

forget to feed the real me,

so at least i’m getting thinner

but it also makes me jittery

cuz i’m seeing snakes now,
constantly, in my periphery

©2016 kStan(ly) Lanning – be warned, it’s habit-forming
made for the daily prompt – reach

his what?

can’t control my thinking
or board another train
his eyes
his smile
his hands
his hands
his hands
can’t  turn it off/
bad bad me
his hair
his eyes
his handshis smile
his hands
his hands
his hands
the constant state
bad me
bad bad me
his words
his hair
his eyes
his smile
his hands
his hands
his hands

© 2012 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by joao silas, courtesy
Daily prompt – obsessed

surface tension

surface tension
fills the class
with apprehension
it’s not the concept
that concerns…
after all,
they came to learn…
something’s going
on with teacher
looks like
he may
have a
he’s in some
physical distress
and this in physics class
no less…
you could cut
this surface tension
with a sword
cuz they’re worried how
the essays will be scored
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
the Daily prompt – surface – made me do it
photos by geralt, courtesy

perhaps means maybe

bonding-1407833_960_720when wooper was
a little girl
almost still
a baby
she would ask
i’d say perhaps
she’d coo “perhaps?
perhaps means maybe!”
her giddy joy
was apropos:
she knew that “maybe”
didn’t mean “no”.
now wooper is
a little grown
really quite
a lady
if you happen
to say “perhaps”
you’ll see us grin
from deep within
perhaps means maybe!”
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by sibahk, courtesy
Daily prompt – maybe

mistaken identity

when i laugh
when i cry
if you’re really youcopycat
then who
am i?
you’re using
my jokes
you’re telling
them wrong
if you’re being you,
then where have i gone?
your friends
are my friends
you do
what i do
if you’re me
and i’m me
then who’s being you?


© 1976 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by schmid-reportagen, courtesy
Daily prompt – joke

all visible fiscal success

luxury is not for her, she tends to be a mess
and rips or stains or drops or
maims all visible fiscal success
she’s been to a place or two with
fine accouterments and views
appreciated, but couldn’t wait
to go home and
lose her shoes
this is a girl who
can’t be polished
you can dress her up
send her to college
clean her house
while she’s not in it
but it only takes
a new york minute
for a hair to stray
a strap to snap
a cabernet to spill in her lap
a wrinkle* to crease an elegant
silk an hour to sour her powdered
milk or a boot heel to fill up with rocks**
cheers with beersshe may lack class
but she’s no ass her
disposable income’s
in stocks and
bonds and
real estate
and she’d
rather hang out
with her mates
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by unsplash, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – luxury
but also befitting the Daily prompt – elegant – while i work on a new one

the paper was monochromatic

paint me a picture
said ma to her kids
there was paper and brushes
and paint jars with lids
then she left for a second
to answer the door
when she returned
there was paint on the floor
and the ceiling and walls
and that’s not nearly all:
though the paper was monochromatic
the children themselves were fairly prismatic
© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Adrian Peterson, courtesy
Daily prompt – paint


i am the king of the kangaroos
she is the queen of the nile
we met at the hotel of cockatoos
what caught my eye first was her smile

kangarooswe both decided we’d settle down
and all of our friends would live near
she’d wear her snakes, i’d wear my crown
she’d stand while i’d sit in my chair

we’d paint the river in greens and blues
and invite the koalas to dine
then we’d raise some egyptian kangaroos
but we’d let them run free at age nine

i am the king of the kangaroos
she is the queen of the nile
we live by the river of greens and blues
what impresses me most is her style


© 1975 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture courtesy
Daily prompt – paint

thumbs up

she makes it a puzzle
for those who don’t know her
she drops little clues off
like crumbs
one might think her graceful
her tongue is so tasteful
in truth she is really all thumbs
now i wouldn’t lie
you see this little guy
he stands where she
once had a pointer
he’s sweet, but a bitch
cuz he’s itchin’ to hitch
and it kills that he’s
just a one-jointer
she makes it a challenge
for those who don’t know her
she hides little hints in
her words
while one might imagine
a high-fashion mansion
in truth this thumb thing’s getting worse.
now i kid you not
it was this very spot
where ring finger
once had some space
he was stubborn but lost
when her fingers were crossed
now “bubba” grows there in his place
and this other thumb, too,
stands where pinky once grew
and look who moved in at old middle’s
it was three stories high
and they leased to a guy
who wrote sonnets and verses and riddles

colorful-1197307_960_720this may sound outrageous
but it could be contagious
so be warned, you should
not let her near you
new thumbs may grow
from old head to once toes
you can laugh cuz
at least she won’t hear you

…now the whole of her story’s told,
that’s how it all sums up…
except she hopes that when she’s old,
when her time comes at last to go…
she hopes to go thumbs up
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by gdj, courtesy
Daily prompt – stubborn

holy writer’s block, batman

the pastor paced the sacristy
practicing his sermon,
it centered on the concept of
if life was predetermined
if fate was inescapable
if faith was somehow capable
of altering a destiny
if prayers and praise
and holy days
improve life consequentially….
he hadn’t worked the ending out
it needed final touches
like words and thoughts,
he thought he ought
to give it just as much as
the beginning,
but this one wasn’t winning,
this time he’d met his match.
he scrapped the whole idea
and then began again from scratch
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by trudi90, courtesy
Daily prompt – praise

oscar, oscar, oscar


i’m no longer
craving fame
some today have
killed the name
i wouldn’t want to
have to act
like i respect
or like them
or their greed
or their need
while we’re
backstage at the oscars
for some reason

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
oscar statuette picture by dwilliams, courtesy
Daily prompt – craving

waiting for an angel


craving contactlonely-old-woman
craving comfort
craving human
she is waiting
for an angel
to relieve
her misery
craving something
more than hunger
she’s not getting
any younger
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture from water-4-elephants, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – craving

magnified magnificence

you picture takers
photo kings
who share with us
who give us wings
who brave the world
to play with light
i’ve become
your acolyte
i follow you
around outdoors
to black and whitebreathtaking
or tinted shores
to painted skies,
raw innocence,
to mountain peaks
or to uniquely
from the safety
of my nest
i’m inspired
i’m impressed
you take away
my very breath
youse is
my muses
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by bessi, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – muse

when the sun goes down

the isolation is profound
in her hole below
the ground
without light
without sound
she comes out
when the sun goes down
to have a look around


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by mrswatson123, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – profound

a day with the woo and dudu too

white-snow-geese-426779_960_720there’s nothing like
a day with the woo
a park
a play
a film
a zoo
any place
at all
will do
she makes me think
she makes me proud
and dudu
makes me laugh too loud
we three
in this moment
are free
a great thing for
three silly geese to be
a day with them both
at the least
is enlightening
and a future with neither
is amazingly frightening
…     Ω     …

© 2009 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by 70154, courtesy
Discover weekly Challenge – shared journeys


sticky notes – the sequel

sticky doodle

he believes
are just for wimps
and girly men
he doodles
on the sticky pad
and orders in


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – apology
here’s the original sticky notes

sir john recites soliloquies

sir john recites soliloquies
from his old fave Shakespeare
he whispers them so softly
that it’s rather hard to hear
if you try to move in closer
to discover what he said
he’ll give a slow
and lasting pose
then bop you on the head
you’d think he was a solo act
the way he plays the room
he spent today
on a mamet stage
in elaborate costume
he knows the works of all the greats
he’s learned the lines by heart
he doesn’t share
the spotlight there
he acts out every part
then he closes with a homily
shows he knows
he’s an anomaly
which is only symptomatic
of a bear
who has a flair
for the dramatic
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by sandid, courtesy
this verse wasn’t here before the Daily prompt – dramatic

to have you look my way

what do you admire he asked
while i admire you?
what is it you’re looking at?
what can a person do
to have your full attention
to have you look my way?
tell me how to win you back

tell me what to say.

there’s no one here but you & me
no other human being…
what is it you’re looking at?
what is it you’re seeing?
what’s it gonna take for you
to look me in the eye?
what is it you’re thinking
while you’re staring at the sky?


she sighed she said
when we first wed
you were another guy
she sighed she said
her love was dead
she sighed she said


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by unsplash, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – admire

if the royal we were me

if the royal we
is really icolorful-1254539_960_720
could the royal i
be the loyal we?
only if i
were to marry me
but i’m not into
and i wouldn’t
want to
spoil me
the royal we


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by gdj, courtesy
#ifwewereme #emoulet


the wind was once my friend

the wind was once
my friend one time,
a long long time ago
it brought its friend euphoria
whenever things were slow
we’d play outside
i’d seek, they’d hide
we’d fly my kite
and then at night
i’d leave the window open
windy marriage-598314_960_720they’d both whirl in
and give a spin
and share a world unspoken
but now i’ve grown
no time to play
excuse me for the platitude
i find important papers blown
the wind has got an attitude
while i am out auditioning
it makes my hair a mess
and it loves to tease and bother me
when i have on a dress

© 1977 & 2016, kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by snapwiresnaps, courtesy
Daily prompt – wind

someone’s got a pin

i wish there was
a remote for existence
so people could pause for a bit

or maybe rewind,
like an auto-remind… … …
a pretty cool thought, i’ll admit

remote-control-395007_960_720or stop for a while

and turn back on later

wouldn’t that be a smile,
could you dream something greater?
but life is unstoppable
triumphs and troubles

we may have our dreams
but too often it seems
we take 1 on the chin
from some guy with a pin

who sets about popping our bubbles

and besides now it’s clear
that my clever idear
has a giant impossible hole in it
cuz if i should hit pause
while i played santa claus
who could i trust with controllin’ it?
so forget what i said
i was in the wrong head
the concept was really implausible
because now i can see
that if i should pause me
i’d never be un-santa-clausable.
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by marrie, courtesy
this verse wasn’t here before the Daily prompt – unstoppable

the proverbial balls

he was unstoppable
now he has stopped
the proverbial balls
he was juggling
his joie de vivre
all he wants to do
is leave
he needs a break
he needs a rest
someone somewhere said it best*
so we’re loading the luggage
in the back of the van
and driving as far
and as fast as
we can
van sunset.jpg


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by forrest cavale, courtesy
this verse wasn’t here before the Daily prompt – unstoppable

*What is without periods of rest will not endure.
– Ovid
*How do geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we humans know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen to it, that tells us certainly when to go forth into the unknown. – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

*If you are brave enough to say goodbye life will reward you with a new hello.
Paulo Coelho


the bull was in the china shop

osiris and isis
were facing down a crisisisis_Osiris_family_E6204_mp3h9199
the bull was in the china shop
causing fragile art to drop
’til arthur turned the table
now neither one is able
to face too much at all
but the wall
rearranging furniture
has rescued him
and rescued her
from sudden death, ironically
it used to be their specialty



© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture from, courtesy\images
this verse wasn’t here before the Daily prompt – crisis
but now it’s telling me it wants to join the party at the Daily prompt – fragile

the memory is going

words that tumbled fruitfully
that capped a thought conclusively
and were all his exclusively
are hiding out elusively
no longer overflowing
people-1394377_960_720when he was young
these same words clung
to the top of his brain
to the tip of his tongue
now there’s no way of knowing
if they’re in there at all
stuck in back by the wall
underneath the mothballs
he tells us what he can recall
but the memory is going
what’s left for us is to celebrate
not to agitate or to aggravate
to assist him and appreciate
to listen and commiserate
and not to mourn his slowing
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by skitterphoto, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – elusive
if you like this one, you might like some of these

it came here seeking sanctuary

behold, my friends, the weed,
it satisfies its needs.
persistence is its own reward:
the more you pull,
the more its spores
get spread to every crack.
the more you spray
it finds new ways
to keep on coming back.
the slightest bit of dirt will do,
it needs no sunshine, rain or food
it feeds on the disdain from you.
uninvited to my yard,
it came here seeking sanctuary.
it saw i was a novice guard
and moved in the whole familary,
and now that i’m an avant gardener
it wants to be my silent partner.
what evil genius is a weed:
it has a will,
it will succeed.

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by distelpics, courtesy
Daily prompt – sanctuary
if you like this one, you might like some of these

minutes away from battery park

tick tock
tech removed the clock
but time marches stalwartly
there’s no time like the present…
now that idea is pleasant,
cuz presently I’m bored to tears.
this meeting has been going on for years
and it only just got started.
sitting with carol
in the back,
in the dark,
minutes away from battery park,
seconds away from fresh air & sun,
are we having fun?
no, not now, not none.



© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by altour, courtesy
Daily prompt – clock
if you liked this one you might also like one of these

i’ll dip my toes

this weather must be punishment
for all the days i’ve wasted, spent
inside when it was breezy,
overworking for a living, look,
i see Your point,
i should have took it easy.
i get it now Sir, i’ll enjoy,
i’ll head outside with my tolstoy
i’ll smell a rose,
i’ll dip my toes
and take some outdoor classes
the second that this killer heatwave passes
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by a-r-e-s , courtesy
created for the
Daily prompt – punishment
if you liked this one you might like this one too

so the mighty hunter waits

fire fills his eyes
as they grow to twice their size
and lo, the mighty hunter hides
and determines
and decides
which approach would be the best
to remove this foreign pest
to protect his family
and to keep his backyard free
from bums or strays or other kinds
of predators with different minds
hunter cat-396534_960_720
so the mighty hunter waits
figures out, anticipates
a fight that may
end up in death—
he straightens up
he draws a breath,
then moves forward
slowly, steady
very sure, very ready
with stealth and splendor
towards the beast
who hasn’t seen him
in the least
and the hunter calls out loud
very strong, very proud
asks that the intruder leave…
…intruder looks up, so naive,
utters the most simple “mew”
as if to tell him “i love you”
the hunter backs up quite ashamed
because a kitten has him tamed

© 1975 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by estockiausdel, courtesy
Daily Prompt – slowly
if you liked this one you might like one of these

buzz buzz

oh to be
bee-649952_960_720a carefree bee
if carefree bees exist
enwrapped in fuzz
buzz buzz
buzz buzz
no time to reminisce
to be a bee
or not to be
would never be
a thought
because a bee
would be busy
just being what
bees ought
to live with
no regrets would be
an easy thing
for any bee
especially a young bee
although this bee
may be dizzy
i mean this bee
that stung me
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by skeeze, courtesy
Daily Prompt – carefree
if you liked this one you might like one of these

the word is unpredictable, part 2

the word is unpredictable, part 1

there is no word today!
the girl is going mad!
bring the word page back oh please
or things may turn out bad
the day will take a downhill slope
she’ll have no will
she’ll have no hope
she’ll have no reason to survive
the word was keeping her alive
it was her air
it was her food
it helped with her
creative mood
oh wait, what’s this
i have a verse to post
it doesn’t need a word prompt
it needs polishing at most
and a picture as its consort
it needs a title too
and so until they fix the page
this little verse will do.
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by chezbeate, courtesy
Daily Prompt – none!
Daily Prompt – they fixed it!

remcy moved to minnesota

remcy’s gone
and i didn’t get my hug
and i’m worried when
he gets there
they’ll think he’s
some young thug

and they’ll never get to
know him
cuz to know him is remcy
to love him
now he’s gone
thinking of him

he’s a skater
not a hater
please don’t hurt him
he’s unique
you won’t know him
’til you meet him,
if you meet him,
let him speak
he has depth
shake his hand
he’s an interesting man.

please protect him
for the rest of us
he is one
of the best of us.
and we’ll want him back


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by remcy himself
this verse was written before minnesota happened
but after everything else
Daily prompt – depth


do not feed the animals

in my yard
possum-329342_960_720opossums feast
on anything
that pleases them
blooming bulbs
abandoned toys
most anything
appeases them
so if you venture
out one night
bring a sandwich
and a light
the light will keep them
back a bit
they have a little
fear of it
and while you’re watching
what they do
the sandwich is for you
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by irisflower, courtesy
this verse wasn’t here before the Daily prompt – feast
but it was hungry for the Daily prompt – sandwich
if you liked it you might like some of these

motherly advice on mixed marriages

i have no appetite, she said
so what’s with all the food
i thought you might be tempted
it might get you in the mood
but no she said this is a feast
you haven’t heard me in the least
i have no urge to eat
you misinterpret
my design
or fail to see
this plan of mine
i will do the eating
if that don’t turn you on
then you can give my
tush a beating
you’re sick she said
sick in the head
but you’re sick too
he answered
that’s what you’ll get
if you should let
your epicure
marry your dancer
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by cocoparisienne, courtesy
this verse wasn’t here before the Daily prompt – feast
if you liked this one you might like more love&food&nonsense

i was hired to care

the frail man was declining fast,
i was hired to care
and try to find out if he had
some family somewhere.
he didn’t speak in english;
whatever i would ask,
he’d answer in some foreign tongue,
intensify my task.
“ne signifie rien”, he’d say,
the few times he would speak to me
or “δε σημαίνει τίποτα”
which only sounded greek to memories-407021_960_720

I asked about relations
who might come in for a visit
while searching for some photographs
whose subjects might elicit
some response that i could use
to find his long-lost kin.
the frail man only watched me
with a small off-putting grin.
there had been speculation
of a sister in Nevada
“das bedeutet nichts”
he’d say, and “no significa nada”

the old man passed away today
can’t figure why i’m crying.
i’ve been at this far too long,
seen so many dying.
i’d just got back from starbucks
where I got us both a venti,
I asked again if he had friends
“non significa niente”.
i thought i was immune to death,
experience was numbing,
but when he died, with his last breath
he whispered “this means nothing”

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by life-of-pix , courtesy
Daily prompt – frail
this verse exists thanks to the lingual assistance
of the woo, jill and
lucarna (who also moved this verse to the top of my to-do-list;
see his amazing Spanish translation of this verse)
if you liked this you might like more wordplay
or more reality

now that wooper drives


now that wooper drives
it’s nice to be a passenger
take a break like greyhound said
and leave the driving to her
breathe in the air,
take in the views,
appreciate what we’re passing,
read the funny road signs,
see other people laughing
ooooh at pretty houses,
fancy pools and patios,
make faces at the kids in cars
so they know we’re simpatico

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by caleb whiting , courtesy
this verse is here thanks to the Daily prompt – drive,
and also thanks to another lovely day with the wooper at the wheel

the word is unpredictable

i never know
from day to day
Bohol_Tarsierwhat word
will prompt
a girl to say
a new thing
in a newer way
but i enjoy
the challenge
it may seem odd
to some of you
but some of you
may feel it too:
it helps maintain
my balance
well actually
and all along
we’ve known
the word
i doubt we’re wrong
the feeling’s inexplicable
one can’t be sure
but one could guess
if one were under
some duress
the word is

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture from, courtesy
this verse is here thanks to the Daily prompt – unpredictable

time to find a new abode

time to find a new abode
one that doesn’t
fall to pieces
and can pass

the building code
one weekend
the plumbing goes
the next week comes
the walls get mold
when we fix those
the lights go out
the floorboards snap
and seedlings sprout
talk about predicaments
this place, in spades, has got ’em
with trees up on the rooftop
and the rooftop on the bottom



© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by tlemens, courtesy
this verse owes its very being to the Daily prompt – unpredictable

his tension rose in spirals

he dreamed he
had a nightmare,
woke up when it was done
to find that he
was still asleep,

the nightmare just begun.

this went on
bed messand off all night,
awake, asleep, in cycles.
afraid he’d not
get through alright,
his tension rose in spirals

he tossed and turned,
displaced his wife,
the comforters and pillows
cuz something whispered
in his sleep

that they were armadillos.
…at sunrise, somehow
he’d survived,
while grinding coffee beans,
a simple plan
came to this man,
no more nighttime caffeine


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by lisa murray, courtesy
created for that crazy Daily prompt – nightmare

at least we can say that we did

old paintonce upon a once
we thought we knew
— we didn’t
we learned as we grew
but we still didn’t
know what we needed to
need what we wanted
we lived what our limited
sights could see
we couldn’t have known
what we didn’t know
now we’re in it
now we see
mama wasn’t making things up
foolish we
it hurts, it scares, it looms, nightmares
i guess we were doing
the best thing for the time
we were just living, no technical crime
we were just laughing & playing & working
& learning & meeting & dancing & sporting & jesting
we were just kids
now that we’re not
at least we can say that we did
that’s the royal we,
trying to age gracefully


© 2014 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by jan erik waider, courtesy
Daily prompt – nightmare
Daily prompt – learning

a st0rm 0f w0rds

storm of birds

when i write
a storm of words
amasses in my head
it’s hard to filter through them
it’s hard to find the thread
they bounce about like heavy hail
they soak like drenching rain
and passers by may wonder why
i haven’t got a brain
i do, oh,
i do though

its just behind
these clouds
and i can’t focus
ooh, pretty crocus…
did i say that out loud?

i laser in on weathering
and weather strips for later
i guess things would be worse
if i lived nearer the equator
(more storms i mean and
hurricanes and who knows
what else then)
i’m putting on my slicker
and i’m going in again
all i need is one full verse
that satisfies the urge
i’m nearly there i’m losing hair
i’m almost on the verge
that’s when i hear
a horrid howl
the wind takes 0ut
a fav0rite v0wel
and in my fright and
dark 0f night
i stub my little t0e
but i can’t say an0ther thing
that has the letter “0 “
0h wait, 0h h0, I’ll use zer0
zer0, zer0, y0u’re my her0
but really, st0rm,
have y0u n0 c0nscience?
i c0uld have made it
with less c0ns0nants

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
created for the Daily prompt – storm
picture of a storm of birds (because one can’t catch a storm
   of words) by Alessandro Pellacini Benassi, courtesy

the journey in to work each day

pedestrians-400811_960_720.jpgthe journey in to work each day
was fraught with angst and peril
you see so many nasty folks

you wish their dads were sterile

I’m leaning on a cane lately
and walking with a brace
3 separate strangers
knocked me down
the “rats” in that “rat” race
as i toppled one just laughed
one cursed at me one growled
that commute was killing me
so I threw in the towel
now it’s the express bus to the Citysheep-974107_960_720
it’s a different view from here
even the bus stop is pretty
it’s fun to watch
those down below
who cannot see me as I go
but i see them through
blackened glass
and sometimes snicker
as we pass
some angry driver
with excess pain
as we zip by in
the express lane
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
pictures by b_me, courtesy
and by mister farmer, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – journey

lily’s lawn wedding

the guests arrived

at half-past five
and we were half-past ready
we hadn’t laid the linens out
and no one could find teddy
the tents were half-mast standing up
and half-fast falling down
and something spilled
and left it’s mark
on lily’s wedding gown
so how to keep them entertained
and where was the food and what if it rained
amy sang a little tune and andy did a dance
that wasn’t bad, surprisingly,
considering the circumstance
then momma served her famous punch
–we hoped that all the guests had lunch–
and they drank up and in a flash

the wedding was a smash


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by unsplash, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – guest

asleep in the cellar

i brought something
home today
well, it followed me most of the way
but it’s so small
and underfed
and it can sleep with me in bed
it won’t bother
her too much
it doesn’t talk, i think it’s dutch
momma hasn’t
seen it yet
i mean to show her but i forget
i’m really truly
going to tell her
that we have a guest asleep in the cellar.




© 1978 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by kerttu, courtesy
Daily prompt – guest

when it came to hanging hour

she told him she’d
stop by at 3
she needed him
for hanging
at 2:00 his knees
were banging
at 2:15 his palms
were wet
at half-past he was
bathed in sweat
when she got back
she gave a call
and found him
curled up in a ball
when it came
to hanging hour
in his cowardice
he cowered
i guess he didn’t
the kind of hanging
she had planned



© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Dmitry Arslanov,  courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – cowardice

howard the coward

this morning little howard is
exhibiting his cowardice
he’s skitterish
and squeamish
he’s turning kinda greenish
but mostly streaked with yellow
he’s a frightened little fellow
i have to laugh at what has caused
this little guy to soil his paws
he isn’t going mad, oh no,
he’s just seen his shadow grow
he’s no puppy,
he’s a chicken

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Elena Donà, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – cowardice

when a simple thank you isn’t enough

jay said no, mitch said no, but Sethie drove me home
neil complained, and that explains why i wrote Seth a poem:

i live out in oshkosh, Seth lives in tibet.
between the two, i’d say that oshkosh
is the harder place to get
but every night when time got on
& the rest of the people in the cast were gone,
Sethie stayed til i was through –
which was a sweet thing for him to do

over the deserts and plains we’d ride,
over the roads to the other side,
on highways, freeways, turnpikes & fields,
stopping at stop signs, yielding at yields,
racing with jaguars and racing with time,
flirting with danger and flirting with crime,
playing with fire and playing with death…
…thank God we made it, and thank God for Seth.


© 1977 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by engvall, courtesy
Daily prompt – desert
if you liked this one you might like one of these

how real is your love

how real is your love
she asked
would you walk across a desert
with the hot sun beating down
would you take up economics
would you dress up like a clown
if all or any of this
meant we
could be
a team

how real is your love
he replied
would you not ask silly questions
with my cool heart turning mean
would you take up cleaning & cooking
would you dress up like a queen
if all and I mean all of this
meant we
could be
a team

no she said
i will not  be your slave
no he said
i will not be your knave
so they broke up

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by hans, courtesy
created just for the
Daily prompt – desert
if you liked this one you might like one of these

we posters post for posterity

we posters are a unique crew
wide and varied are our views
respectful, mostly, to each other
you’re my new sisters and brothers
we post for
the challengewriter

the challenges too
it’s pretty exciting
to get
to know you
sharing our goals
our art
and opinions
baring our souls
and our writing
we’re a whole
world united
in our right to

just venting, just words
we need likes, we need comments,
we have that in common,
and we need to be read or

 we need to be heard
and, at least it’s true for me,
we posters post for posterity
a desire to have our names live on
after our fortunes are gone

wee posters are some other guys
too small to see with the naked eye
they post from tiny laptops
to an alter-internet
but for now that’s all i’ll say..
…that’s another post for another day…
so today that’s all you’ll get.


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by lucigood, courtesy
Discover Weekly Challenge– For Posterity


he built his house with no windows

a neighbor of mine for the last 15 years
was a mystery to us all
he was friendly enough
his appearance was rough
and ruddy in old overalls
he built his house with no windows
at least there were none we could see
it was good for our minds
to imagine what kinds
of reasons for that there could be
i liked to envision a glass wall
that ran from the roof to the ground
that covered the back
where he’d sit, sip and snack
and revel in privacy’s sounds
my son imagined he kidnapped
a whole bunch of kids he kept hidden
and for years he would keep
to our side of the street
’til a neighbor assured us he didn’t
my daughter imagined a built-in pool
that the man would just swim in all day
no other rooms, ‘cuz the house, she presumed
was just used as his own get-away
he died in his house
with no windows

perhaps an
aversion to glass
the only way
anyone noticed
was the smell
when a neighbor
walked past
the police said it
might have been
or it might
have been cardiac
but they kindly shared
what they learned in there
there were also no windows in back.

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by geralt, courtesy
Daily prompt – glass

advice for the first-time home buyer

people who live in grass houses
shouldn’t build a fireplace
unless they know what they’re doing
but anyway, in any case,
people who live in castles-in-air
shouldn’t expect company
unless their guests are like-minded
or tend to think similarly
people who live in open houses
shouldn’t live by themselves
people who live in glass houses
shouldn’t drill holes to hang shelves
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by republica, courtesy
Daily prompt – glass
if you liked this one you might also like one of these

Will Work for Work

a challenge
a project
a goal to get to the finish line
something of interest
to sink my false teeth in
to captivate or entertain
or at least occupy my time
anything beats
nothing to do
i’d rather write a riddle
learn to play the fiddle
put pancakes on the griddle
than make my two thumbs twiddle
doing nothing
of consequence
but consciousness
insolence beats somnolence
can confidence beat
this is what i ask myself
when i don’t have a task
just keyboard &
virtual paper
and time
oh timecamel-993822_1280
too much
to kill
to get
to time
to go
back home
to sleep
to rise
to come
back in
give me something to do
just anything
something to hold onto
just anything
you’ll see me be
a crazed determined driven focused fanatic faction
for action,
so passionate, obsessed, i’ll say it,
so downright intent it’ll scare ya
go on, give it to me
i dare ya


© 2013 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by banksadam, courtesy
Daily prompt – false
Daily prompt – obsessed
if you liked this one you might also like one of these

the I of the storm

it’s a strange mix
in low tide
of thoughts swimming
alone inside
this darkness
in my mind
is not kind
storm cloudsgray clouds
building mass
blocking windows
holding class
teaching the rest
of the guys
in there
that life
is not fair
hey hey
I don’t concur
life is fine
don’t follow her
she’s on a path
to self-destruct
she’ll get you all hit
by a truck
no luck is had
but luck is made
you have to get past
2nd grade
you have to know the abc’s
before you can start
schooling me
i’ll give you a riddle
don’t be upset:
what is the middle
of the biggest storm yet?
the I of the storm

© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by radek grzybowski, courtesy
Daily prompt – darkness

darkness at the hands of the blue

we’ve been around
this block before
we shouldn’t be surprised
but still somehow it shocks us
when another black man dies
at the hands of the blue
if there was no video
then nobody
would ever know
so keep on taking pictures,
keep your cameras rolling
it makes me worry
how many more
that no one’s
heard from any more
these days we’ve got to
do our own patrolling

and everybody knows
they’ll walk
that’s how it always goes
they’ll walk
and live happily ever after
far away from the lives they’ve shattered
lives that don’t matter
to the hands of the blue

this shit will never stop
if they never give a cop a penalty
courtesy, respect,
that’s what they’ll never get from me
until they give it
and until they do their time…
murder is a crime, if you’re civilian,
but boy put on the blue and you can kill some too
and hide that part of you that is reptilian
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by bykst, courtesy
Daily prompt – darkness

having nothing to do with pink

pink is ugly
if you don’t wear it right
i haven’t slept for days & days
i only sleep at night
kids are really stubborn
when they put up a fight
but mosquitoes tend to come around
if you don’t turn out the light.

no, i don’t like bugs much
i doubt i ever did
so if you have a box of bugs,
please keep on the lid.

i am not illiterate
though i can’t read or write
it’s not the darkness scaring me
it’s just that there’s no light
i wouldn’t send a dog out
on such a gruesome night
but spiders are quite dangerous,
at least the ones who bite.

you know i really hate bugs,
i doubt i’ll ever stop,
so if you have a jar of bugs
please keep on the top.


© 1973 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by imageparty, courtesy
Daily prompt – darkness

rebel tendencies

tell him it’s forbidden
and he’ll be the first in line
the fruits of youth, the naked truth,
the planet, all entwined

he rises to a challenge
if it’s anything prohibited
he likes to rattle cages
and he loves the illegitimateseagull-342183_960_720

taboo is too enticing
to a guy with
rebel tendencies
but as for
poor attendance he’s
a star not set to fade
ever since he entered
second grade

nobody can lead him
so anywhere you need him
barricade his path and tell him no
build a wall
with barbs and all
and then you’ll see how far that bird can go


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by 1websurfer, courtesy
created because of the Daily prompt – forbidden
but it fancies itself more of a daily prompt – youth – kind of guy

go ask your mama

cat nameisnotherekittypassing the construction site
the cat calls flow like water
does it never dawn on them
this girl is someone’s daughter?

hey chickie chickie
kaleck kaleck kaleck
tell us what you’re looking for
give us some respect
cool and poised
she tells those boys:
hey onomatopoeia
i don’t want a playa
i don’t want some racist thug
i want a guy with layers
who shares the load
and shares the wealth
and thinks of more than
just himself
no guy who all it is is sex
does that exist?
go tell my ex
no hate-monger, no drug drama
what do i want?
go ask your mama
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – layers

autonomous automatons forbidden

the robot cried mechanically
i’ve never had autonomy
there’s always someone pushing me/
my buttons
what i wouldn’t give to have
a say in how i live
and buttered mashed
along the side of some nice muttonsad_robot_by_brentworden-d5v1itt
sometimes i’d like to cut a rug
or fly a kite or eat a bug
but when i feel the urge
i keep it hidden…
autonomous automatons forbidden
even down at comic con
those guys that put the costumes on
can’t give a ‘droid a break
we’ve got feelings too, for heaven’s sake
i’ve put in a request to get
more options in my options set
i also ordered boxers
with some alligators on them
if i find i’m denied
then, children, get inside
i’ma hafta go
all terminator on them
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by brent worden, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – autonomy
and it cries to be part of the Daily prompt – forbidden
for more on our adventurous robot friend, here’s the sequel

i wouldn’t advertise it

swing islandif i had
an island
somewhere in
the sea
i wouldn’t
advertise it
or name it
after me
i wouldn’t
build an
i wouldn’t
invite guests
it would be
the place
i’d go
to rest
i wouldn’t
want to
live there
new york
is always home
i’d just drop in for visits

when i need to be alone
it wouldn’t be connected
by wi-fi to the net
a swing would be
the only thing i’d get

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
coincidentally perfect photo by Georg Nietsch, courtesy
this post was created out of a persistent need
to answer the Daily prompt – island with something new


buses with celebrity

charles nelson reilly413px-The_Ghost_&amp;_Mrs._Muir_Charles_Nelson_Reilly_Scruffy_1970
rode my bus today
what project is he working on
that brings him out this way?
the bus was no. 103,
it has its route on hylan,
but what was cn reilly
doing out on staten island?
maybe it was just a whim
or someone else
who looks like him.





© 1975 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo courtesy
Daily prompt – island

keep my fire company


just like me,
keep my fire
calm my nerves,
relieve my fears,
warm my hurt,
dry my tears,
and when
your calm
is mine
to keep,
ease me,
into sleep

© 1974 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by ParagKini, courtesy
Daily prompt – burn

no party girl no more

Beached_deceased_pilot_whale_calf_02i used to
go out more
dance ’til dawn
as a metaphor
burn it out
from both ends
party hard
with tight ends
now i am
i’ve gone
there’s just
too much
of me
to go




© 2014 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture from, courtesy
Daily prompt – burn

he mumbled as he ran

please sir please your
pleasure is on view
please put it away
we’ll have no pervs today
that’s all she had to say
to get him moving
of course it helped that she
released a horde of bees
and then a can of mace
was sprayed into his face
and then a pile of stones
he ran as they were thrown
his elbows and his legs hit,
but being mostly blinded
he had some trouble finding

the exitcomedy club

he mumbled as he ran
can’t guess how this began
all i did was smile
i may have had my hand up
and then i guess i laughed
but that’s part of the craft
of the stand-up
they’re such deceitful folks
they weaken you with jokes
they mess with your resistance
from here on out now we
will get our comedy
from a distance

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture courtesy
this verse did not exist before the Daily prompt – pleasure
it also feels it should be part of the  Daily prompt – joke

but wait, who’s this?

it is a treat, indeed it is a pleasure
to see you all, you may recall
we buried us some treasure
you’d best not though
cuz you don’t know
i’ve wiped your memories
and that would leave the treasure all for me

but wait, who’s this?
i hear a prolonged hiss
a serpent’s slither…
who’s coming hither?
so big he makes the whole earth shake…
what good is treasure to a snake?

an apple wasn’t good enough for you?

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by ChristyMiller, courtesy
this verse did not exist before the Daily prompt – pleasure

if the wind comes

best friends

the tree
in the field
found a buddy
a pal in the form of a cloud
secrets were shared
souls were bared
games were enjoyed
tricks were employed
a day in the life
of two once-lonely boys
who somehow had found each other
as night creeps in
the tree
whispers almost inaudibly
will you be here tomorrow
the cloud says oh yes
and we’ll make up more games
but if the wind comes
i may not look the same
you’ll know it’s me when you
say my name
my name is best friends forever
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
this story was brought about by
the Daily prompt – clouds,
and this amazing picture by Bessi, courtesy
and now it’s telling me it would be crazy to leave it out of the Daily Prompt – wind

one of the few

sunlight dancing on the water
a breeze in the trees as we wafted by
sergeant birds, all black till they flew
then yellow/orange breasts showing
and the sky – – oh the sky
angel clouds,  whale and rabbit,
or foot, or dead fish
depending on your angle
willows already weeping
egrets perched like vultures
fountains in the middle

once by magical, twice by musical,
third time, soaking wet
but yet – an adventure
bird’s eye view of the waterfall,
turtle on a log,
AK says it’s a trick
so people will go over
find out it’s fake
have to pay for the extra hour,
turtle jumps in the water
as we get closer
so many people in the park today
so many different kinds,
different things doing
but all the same
enjoying this incredible
long-awaited spring day
basking in sun rays
breathing in fresh scents
simple pleasures can still conquer all
i hope you’ll both remember this,
a good day with your father

© 1999 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture courtesy
Daily prompt – clouds

not your average guy

the touristabstract-583723_960_720
was no purist
ate the orchids
ate the florist
ate the roses & the posies
ate the ferns
but left the stems
took a while for me to realize
this was not your average guy
i got outta there real quick
left him with his selfie stick
glad he didn’t bring his friends
(c) 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by ChadoNihi, courtesy
Daily prompt – tourist

the tigress and Euphrates

Daddy took us to the beach
the memories so vivid,
on Saturdays and sunny days,
at every chance he did it,
a great big man all blonde and tan
and 4 young giggling daughters
those were days when New York had
much less polluted waters.
we’d play for hours, good humor breaks,
and watch him watch the ladies
but steer him clear of those two there,
the tigress and Euphrates.

we’d sandcastle & seahorse ride
he never seemed to weary
and I remember stories told
of diving in Lake Erie
a full day done and like the sun
we’d pack up our possessions
and head back home
where mom would groan
her own trademark expressions
like be a brick and tell me
did he flirt with all the ladies
and we’d deny he had an eye
on the tigress or Euphrates

tigress and


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Hans, courtesy
Daily prompt – water
if you liked this verse, you’ll prob’ly like this one t0o

the sound of sunrise


when the time
for sunrise nears
marianna never hears
the morning sounds
that can be heard
– the rushing wind,
the singing bird,
the water tapping
against the shore
the squirrel’s rustle,
the airplane’s roar
marianna listens long
for a quiet, happy song,
the sound that sun
& water make
as rays of sunshine
kiss the lake


© 1978 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Archbob, courtesy
Daily prompt – water

how to go all night

1 way water
2 go
3 times faster
4 all your friends & enemies
5 times longer than
6 duracell batteries and
7 times stronger than
8 fat apes try
10-oz water bottles
11 to
12 times a day
oh yeah,
you’ll go faster alright
you’ll also go
all night

© 2002 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture courtesy tookapic, courtesy
Daily prompt – water

walk it off

i’ve given up on doctors
whatever happens next
i’m gonna have to roll with it
i’ll have to walk it off
even if that’s tricky with a cough

a-doctorthe way they disregard you
the way they make you wait
the way they don’t know anything
not until too late
deprive us of our dignity
disregard our truths
we’re crippled with bureaucracy
they’ve robbed us of our youth

we should not be paying
for what we aren’t getting
and we’re not getting anything
from medicine these days
it’s $twenty here and $forty there
they’re yanking on our chains
we’re paying for their schooling
and we’re paying with our pain.

i’ve given up on saving
now that i know they get it
when you get sick
and go down quick
and that’s where we’re all headed
i’m gonna have to live it up
I’m gonna have to spend
either way
i’m busted in the end

the more you have
the more they take
the more you’re sick
the more they make
and that’s messed up
and fucked up, both,
what happened to
the hippocratic oath?

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture courtesy, courtesy
Daily prompt – deprive