where there’s smoke

myra likes
her cigarettes
she should quit,
she knows,
black-1226643_960_720she gets it
but here’s what
they don’t get:
she isn’t ready yet
she’s quit before
she’ll quit again
you don’t have to
remind her
but if you need her
until then
and don’t know
where to find her
if you should
suddenly require her
where there’s smoke
there’s myra


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by angle-weixin courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – smoke

not even in the room

like quitting cigarettes
i think i’m thinking

of something else
i’m thinking of you

i’m addicted

and if you don’t smoke
you don’t know
what i mean
but you do, so youlove-1181067_960_720 do,
but i’ll never tell you,
so you won’t.

i think i’m able
to focus
on something else
some conversation
some person
standing in front of me

is ostensibly holding
that i am ostensibly part of

he thinks it’s two-way
he thinks i hear

he thinks i’m smiling
at the content
or the context

and i’ll jump in any time now,
he assumes;

i’m not even in the room
i am smiling at a moment
at a memory of you

had to stop and tell you
in a virtual confession
i can’t quit

© 2012 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by waldryano courtesy pixabay,com
Daily prompt – smoke

to keep up with demand

there were lines around the block
each time the bookstore got restocked
to keep up with demand
not what the banners planned
there was a lot of jiggling
resulting in some giggling
the day that bras got banned
what some don’t seem to understand
but i am here to state
is when a common thing gets banned
they give it much more weight

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by cheifyc courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – banned

an iffy endeavor

the bunny was unhoppable
his jumping spree unstoppable
so leap frog, an iffy endeavor
his long ears flopping to and fro
he couldn’t stop, he couldn’t, so
they banned him from playing forever
poor little dude, he
was kicked out, like rudy,
outcast and downcast and blue
no leap frog, no kick the can
no hopscotch no hunt the man

no pin the tail on the moose


the bunny was unflappable
and also fairly practical,
he was an enterprising bunny

his solution was the simplest:
he entered the olympics
and now he’s making tons of money

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
gif courtesy gifs.net
Daily Prompt – banned

working boy

this verse is a
companion piece to
working girl
his transformation takes about
10 minutes to achieve
a button-down over his tee
cuff links in the sleeves
a tie, a vest, a quick breath test
he throws his jacket on
aqua velva, listerine,
and then, voila, he’s gone

he heads straight from the club
to work, cuz he’s a party chap
at lunch he’ll make some time
to take a 20-minute nap
and Monster-up his afternoon
with non-stop drops of caffeine
a hundred push-ups in the john
an overload of protein

when work is done he’ll head back home
it takes another 10
to change his tee and change to jeans
and head back out again
revived, re-scented, reinvented,
this life will catch up one day
for now he’s young, he’s having fun
he’ll sleep all day on sunday

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by ben rossett, courtesy unsplash.com
this verse owes its existence to the repeated Daily Prompt – transformation


i’ve lost my gloves
(my fathers too,
his were old
& mine were new)
i’ve lost my luck &
lost my way,
i’ve had a loss forlost glove
things to say,
i’ve lost some money
and some friends,
and that’s what
counts most
in the end.

i’ve lost my shoes
and lost my glasses
and “lost” my
please-excuse-me passes,
i’ve lost my lunch
and lost all hope
and lost that tiny
bar of soap
i’ve lost my patience
and my mind,
but a really good friend
is hard to find.


© 1975 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – tiny

artificial ants

aaron is an aardvark
who eats artificial ants
he loves the gummies
but his mom says
aaron, no, you can’t
they’ll interfere with dinner
they’ll mess with your digestion
aargh, says aaron, agony,
that answers my next question

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by uniprot.org courtesy bing.com/images
created for the Daily prompt – artificial

her silences become her

she doesn’t volunteer
the facts
you have to
pull them from herhug-1315545_960_720
you have to learn
to use some tact
her silences
become her
she keeps her profile
dark and low
so no old fiends
can find her
she doesn’t need
to retrogress
her battle scars
remind her
she doesn’t interact
at work
with other personnel
she spends her
spare time comforting
young victims like herself



© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by markzfilter courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – volunteer

ode to the underwood 310


millions of feelings
have passed through this ribbon
millions of words
made this typewriter blush
a whole lot of stories
were written by these keys
a whole lot of  homeworks
typed up in a rush
and still it was faithful,
it worked every day
the only trouble
it gave me was “j”
oh, to the underwood
three hundred & ten
you were far more useful
than illiterate men


© 1977 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by oztypewriter.blogspot.com
Daily prompt – millions

confuscius he is not

this little guy
appears to be
from ancient
in fact he’s
just a tot
he seems
so sage
for one
his age
he is not
this little guy

who looks so wise
does not share
pearls of wisdom
but leaps and bounds
and jumps around
with unleashed optimism

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by jesus12286, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – ancient

when the sun arises

this verse is a sequel to
when the sun goes down
she hunts alone
to bring back homedog-647528_960_720
enough to feed her pups
she has a little
light to help her
while the moon is up
she hasn’t got
much time to spend
so she economizes
and takes it back
down underground
when the sun arises

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by pezibear, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – underground

sink or swim

cynthia’s not waiting
for a miracle no more
she’s taken it
upon herself
to be the change emergency-exit-696656_960_720
they’re waiting for
she’s boning up
on how to do
and what to say
and when
and why not leave
and take the kids
and bring this
to an end
new action plan
is risky,
sink or swim,
but she was
slowly drowning
without ever jumping in


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by riedelmeier, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – waiting

take it down a notch

today there’s nothing urgent on
no need to hurry or respond
to anything but what i want
and what i want is rest
i used to be a ball of fire
tight strung like
a piano wire
but lately i’ve been
relishing my peace:
i have progressed
i’ve learned to
take it down
a notch
i’ve learned to
let things pass
i’ve learned to
take my shoes off
and walk barefoot
in the grass
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by pezibear, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – urgent

in the genes


had he inherited father’s brains
he would never know so much
had he inherited father’s courage
he would use mother as a crutch

had he inherited mother’s trust
he would never trust another
and he would never love again
had he inherited love from mother

had he inherited father’s patience
he wouldn’t be able to wait until later.
had he inherited mother’s estate
maybe now he wouldn’t hate her

© 1977 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by unsplash, courtesy pixabay.com
Daily prompt – trust

the girl had come unglued

we were playing baseball
margaret got mad
she told us to go outside
but we were being bad

when margaret exploded
she couldn’t be subdued
bits of her were everywhere
the girl had come unglued
we stuck her back together
the only way we could
but we were pretty shaky
so she didn’t look too good
perhaps we should
have listened
perhaps our ma won’t see
that margaret is not the
stunning doll she used to be

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by aimee vogelsang, courtesy unsplash.com
created for the Daily prompt – subdued

made-up games

the day the blackout came
with nothing but a candle flame
they saw each other better
then they had in broad daylight
they played some made-up games
and laughed like the insane
they ate a lot of ice cream
and they stayed up late that nightboxing-gloves-1709174_960_720

the next morning at sunrise

the power was restored
they retreated to their corners
and went back to keeping score
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by geralt, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – candle

a bunch of ballerinas

janelle the ballerina is
so graceful when she dances
but clumsy like a klutz
in any non-staged circumstances
princess grace we call her
when she falls out of her bed
and tumbles down the stairs
to start the day
she’s awkward and incompetent
she’s like a walking accident
but we have heard
a bunch of ballerinas are that way
so we’re not gonna worry
but for when she’s in a hurry
and just to show janelle
how much we care
and to minimize her bruised shins
we’re putting bumper cushions
all along her path and
on the furniture and stairs
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by open clipart-vectors, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – clumsy

hollow promises

smooth-talking thomas is
always full of promises
but fails on
apparently he
never heard
there’s no reward
for empty words
but what’s a guy to do
he’s into
people pleasing
and i’m sure he
has his reasons
he’d rather
end a conflict
with a lie
than a solution
smooth-talking thomas
fails to see
how shallow hollow
promises can be
a yes-man with
no honesty
is not a man at all to me



© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by dennis buntrock, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – promises

advice for the novice enamored

she is an original
a girl who holds
to principles
flower-1467112_960_720she thinks that
imitation is
the truest form
of thievery
she derides most
adaptations as
artistic limitations
thinks cheap remakes
don’t take a lot
of creativity
so if you want
to woo her
if you hope to
score some time
start your ballad over
and scrap that crappy rhyme


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by ikaika, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – original

please take it back outside

i have no flair for flattery
the peacock told his spouse
and yet you must admit
i add some color to the house
his spouse said dear
that’s good of you
don’t want to hurt your pride
but i’ve got lots of work to do
please take it back outside
and tell your friends about it
i’m sure they’ll all agree
if it’s flattery you’re fishing for
you won’t get that from me
i think you might discover
if you opened up a book
there’s more to love
than compliments
there’s more to life
than looks


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by paulbr, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – flattery

no time to run amok

careful now
said fred to frank
that package there is fragile
what’s with all the handstands
we’re all aware you’re agile
now listen frank
stop showin’ off
we’ve gotta load the truck
and get this stuff to florida
no time to run amok
no time for acrobatics
come on, frank, hunker down
i haven’t got the patience
and you’re acting like a clown
frank, as an apology
for foolish adolescence
blamed it on biology
and grunted acquiescence

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by inmemo, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – careful

the bear facts

two bears were
busy bathing
an argument ensuedbear-1530798_960_720
a simple disagreement
evolved into a feud
what started as
a small request
to wash a bear behind
was now a full
blown battle
with no other
bear in mind
bear right had got
the bar of soap
and didn’t mean
to share it
bear knuckles flew
and bear left knew
he would not
grin and bear it
they both progressed
to baring teeth
though each of them
were brothers
they could no longer
bear to finish
bathing with each other
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by pixel-mixer, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – argument

balancing act

he balanced
on the border
lunacy and cool
the slightest breeze
could tip the scales
and there was me,
the fool,
to set him off
fist-1561157_960_720to kick his rage
to shake the
angry lion’s cage
the egg shells that
i walked on
a misplaced word
has set us back
and it’s my fault,
of course
i balance
on the border
mercy and divorce
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by pavlofox, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – border

little things were going missing

had an alligator
raised him from a pup
didn’t realize til later
he was eating
some things up
little things
were going missing
little johnny,
little jen,

had a midget
for an uncle…
he ain’t coming
up again.
had an alligator
used to be my buddy
’til the wifey
put her foot down
and it came up bloody.

(c) 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by skeeze, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – realize

for jon

got caught
at the top
of a tree
and he closed
his eyes
and he yelled,
“help me!”
but no one heard
and no one came,
so jon was caught
and remains the same


© 1977 kStan(ly) Lanning, inspired by a friend
photo by next star tech, courtesy pixabay.com
Daily Prompt – tree

she wants to know who

a daring dame
who has no name
at least not one
she’ll share
has moved into belukketupa-1521350_960_720
the woods by us
as far as we’re aware
and she wants
to know who
though i’m sure
i don’t know
and when i ask why
she won’t say
she asks who again
and i want it to end
and i wish she would
just fly away
who what? who who?
not sure what to do
i throw up my arms
in frustration
she’s becoming a pest
as she stares
from her nest
a silent and sure
it ain’t me i insist
but whoever it is
i would give you
their name if i knew
so please go away
it’s been too long a day
and what does she say?
she says “who?”
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by jay d lim, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily Prompt – daring

a nebulous funk

bush-640619_960_720i’m gonna need
a breakthrough
i’m in a nebulous funk
i’m trying to
pull off a take-two
resuscitate my spunk
a downward spiral
drags me
and zaps away
my strength
if i could breach the surface
i’d go to any length
this is a week after surgery
this is an energy gap
this is my painkillers talking
i’m gonna go take a nap
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by mystics art design, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily Prompt – breakthrough

in your hierarchy


what do you value
the most?
the least?
where does she fit
in your hierarchy?
when did romance
fall from fashion?
when did your
outlook turn black?
when did you lose
your compassion?
when are you
getting it back?
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by unsplash, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily Prompt – value

snake in the sequel

a sequel of sorts
to snake in the grass
snake-676335_960_720not all snakes
are dangerous
but human snakes
can be
you won’t know
what kind
of snake
until he’s
right up in
your face
ah well,
too late
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by kapa65, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily Prompt – graceful

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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 misconstrue…
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 pixabay.com
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 bing.com/images
gif courtesy giphy.com

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 unsplash.com
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 deviantart.com, courtesy bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
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 naturfotoblog.net, courtesy bing.com/images
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 bing.com/images
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 bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
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 bing.com/images
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 bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
created for the Daily Prompt – shiver
perfect for the Daily prompt – promises, while i work on something new

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 en.wikipedia.org,  courtesy bing.com/images
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 conversation.com, and poster by at2w, both courtesy bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 commons.wikimedia.org, courtesy bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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. unsplash.com/photos/SSxIGsySh8o
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
created for the daily prompt – moon
playing with the daily prompt – tiny

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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 unsplash.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
made for the daily prompt – reach

seeing snakes

i’ve reached 1 in slither.io,
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
slither.io – 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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com

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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 bing.com/images
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 bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
Daily prompt – stubborn
Daily prompt – graceful

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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – muse

when the sun goes down

the isolation is profound
in her shelter
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 bing.com/images
created for the Daily prompt – profound
Daily prompt – underground

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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
#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 unsplash.com
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 pixabay.com
this verse wasn’t here before the Daily prompt – unstoppable
but it wants to play with the Daily prompt – trust, while i work on something new

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 pixabay.com
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 commons.wikimedia.org, courtesy bing.com\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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 pixabay.com
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 me.photo 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 pixabay.com
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 unsplash.com
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 commons.wikimedia.org, courtesy bing.com/images
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 pixabay.com
this verse owes its very being to the Daily prompt – unpredictable
but it also wants to participate in the Daily prompt – tree

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 bing.com/images
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 unsplash.com
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 unsplash.com

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 pixabay.com
and by mister farmer, courtesy pixabay.com
created for the Daily prompt – journey