not like harry’s*

Curvy road

my life is not a circle
but a strange trajectory
it backs and forths
and ups & downs
with no respect for me
it sails on straight but bumpy
then smoothes out in a curve
there’s no predictability
it has a lot of nerve.


*Harry Chapin, Circle



(c) 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning


Curve – challenge

Ways to Keep Warm

she  wanted to be tall and lean
a fashion plate
homecoming queen
but the fact that she was not was
not as hard to deal with as
the fact that she was
and round
and reddish brown
and awkward in her motions
and so she made a raft and she went
sailing on the ocean
she became a sailor
on her own with no commander
(other than the weather and
whatever heaven’d hand her)
she rolled with the waves
she weathered the storms
when it was cold
she found ways to keep warm
she learned the tricks
to survive under stress
and when she came backreddish brown apple
her hair was a mess
but the doctors and lawyers
and journeymen flocked
to be part of her circle
‘cuz man this chick rocked



(c) 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning

Obstacles- the Challenge
Reverie Challenge
sorry if you’ve seen it before, but while I work on a new one
this answers the Daily Prompt – with a journey that ends with a journeyman

stone cold

Stone Cold Steve is a pop-out

Laying on my desk stone cold

Dude left him here,

lost him in the mess.

Yuk what an ugly son-of-a- (ahem)

Some guys I guess were born like that

Some work to look like them

My son wants to be like that

Beefy brawler, nothin’-but- chest.

Imagine one day AKJ

a pop-out stand-up kind of guy

Laying on my desk.



© 1999 kStan(ly) Lanning

don’t you go to the movies?

your rage
gets so redundant
your blasts in the past that i left long ago
take it out
of my face
i won’t live like that
i don’t need
i dont want
i don’t have
to live like that

you say
your disease, the BIG A
makes you this way
justifies you
alibies you
i say
the BIG A
is not the disease
just a symptom
one of many
of the true disease
as plain as the runny nose on your face

it’s your rage

and i think
after all this time
that i know
the cause of the rage
the roots that wound
around your heart
that turned your mind
into a kind
of torture chamber
that buried the soul one time so pure
now darkened and sure
it’s the world’s fault
it’s everyone who is happy
it’s everyone who gets up each day
who goes off to work
and comes back on home and has friends and family and love and laughs
and calm cool collected peace
without rage

it’s their fault
and you’ll make them pay
one person at a time
and you’re starting with me
but i have proven more difficult
than you could imagine,
than you can handle.
i have refused to step on up
to the dark side
i have refused to lose my smiles and my laughs and my love
you’ve stumbled on
someone with a very huge heart
and it’s just killing you, isn’t it?

Poor fool.

hate never wins.
evil never wins. 
don’t you go to the movies?

(c) 1994 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – calm

ever the optimist

couldn’t get behind
the gripes the groans the grind
of downward spiral thinking
drowning in your drinking
why me why now why here why
i’d rather laugh than cry
rather live than die
rather do than nothing
revel, rabble rouse
cajole, console, consort, carouse
raise up the roof
and bring down the house
no jumping off bridges
no falling on swords
happiness is
its own reward
ever the optimist


© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – jump


the natural

he was their guru
he was their god
he was their master, how odd,
how odd

he ruled the playground
he cast all their roles
he was just 3 but they
gave him control

the 10’s and 11’s,
the 8’s and the 9’s
his age didn’t matter
his rule was divine

now he is doubting
unsure of his worth
unsure of his reasons
for being on earth

he’s still their master but
he doesn’t know,
he’s a natural leader

with nowhere to go



(c) 2014 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – natural




To Motley, In The Void

the void
photo by Joe Beck, courtesy

Hey Ma, hope you’re having fun
out there in the void
hope there’s things to do
hope there’s music too
hope you’re laughing,
& they’ve got your back
but most of all
I hope they’ve got your Jack.
Happy Birthday.
I sure miss you,
so many things
I still need to learn from you
maybe if you get some down time
you can send me some clues
I won’t even ask
if it’s heaven or hell
I’ll just guess there’s a beach
and you’re far from the beach
and accordions
and republicans
if there’s a ball
you’re the belle.
hope all is well
in the great beyond.
I sure miss you
since you’ve gone.

(c) 2014 kStan(ly) Lanning

The Reverie weekly poetry prompt

the numbers crunchers

in a world where names are numbers
in a box left on a shelf
there was a single, lonely vestige
of his former self
he mattered once, he made a dent
his singing voice was heaven-sent
he influenced the younger ones
he mesmerized the old
he fought a war within and found
his stuff tossed in the coldnumbers
harsh rainy streets,
all his worldly goods
all but this one relic  here
too small to recall
and that was all
that would bring him back
to who he was
before the numbers crunchers landed
and everything went black.

the numbers crunchers came in vans
invaded every entry
they audited and found some fault
and locked away the gentry,
their staff & friends & family,
their neighbors, pets & strangers
they introduced a world of new
and unexpected dangers
they leased a flat on west 19th
they came and went unfettered
and not until each man & child
was written in their record
and stacked into a tiny slot
and organized just so
did they at last complete their task
and did they finally go.

his numbered self had gotten thin
from lack of good nutrition
his bones and muscles had acquired
a squash-like sponge condition
that shrunk him, smashed him
waffle-thin and so with just a squat
he found a way to slide right through
his predetermined slot.
he made his way down empty streets
back to his last remembrance
the only thought that kept him going,
that of hungry vengeance,
which thought abandoned him at once
the moment he got home
and found the shelf and found the box
and found this little poem.

© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
befitting of the Daily prompt – empty
and the Daily prompt – squat

2 for the Clock Watchers


what I wouldn’t give for 5 o’clock.
o’clock, a funny way to say it, no?
of’the, on’the, or irish?
and cheers to his brother,
Paddy O’Clock,
who ran off with the
bottle of bourbon
& hasn’t been heard from again.
18 minutes to 5 o’clock
and still it feels like morning
that day that never ends
has no friends.


back to bored
all caught up
nothing left
all brought up
to date
to death
to kill
the hours
‘til time
to go
to more
so common yet uninteresting is boredom
so frequently
a thought
but so seldom
what we ought
to discuss
boredom is the root of all ennui
now there’s a word I could get used to
so sad
so blue
so what
to do
ennui go again

© 2011 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – clock

view from a plane

four-wheeled ants

with silver faces,

each one has been

different places,

each one knows a

different story,

each one boasts a

different glory,

each one bears aview plane

different load

riding on the

penciled road


© 1975 kStan(ly) Lanning