at a loss

at a loss for
at a loss
photo by Luciano Ribas, courtesy (text mine)
photo by Luciano Ribas, courtesy (text mine)
a loss for
what comes next
what does?
what do
I do?
I don’t
I sit
in stifled silence
a stupor
a daze
a haze
a phase?
I hope
I try
a flick
a thought
a fight
a struggle
a futile swat
a useless stab
an unsuccessful grab
at clarity
at certainty
at action
no traction
no reason
no clear solution

© 2014 kStan(ly) Lanning

Daily Prompt – phase

just dessert

she was his icon
she was his dreamjust dessert
he had his eye on
this vision in cream

she was bananas
he was hot fudge
sure he was nuts
and she carried a grudge
(that’s a calorie over his limit)
but he was addicted,
he was her fool,
and that’s just dessert these days,


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily Post – dream
but it also wants to part of the
Daily Post – carry

Jessica’s Future Plans

Jessica wants to be a nun
i doubt that she’ll have any fun
wearing dresses every day
behaving in a saintly way
speaking softly, singing songs…
…i doubt she’ll be a nun for long.

Jessica wants to rob a bank
with a high-powered rifle & an army tank
then take her friends with her on a cruise
and buy them tuxedos & dresses & shoes
she said it at dinner & no one protested…
…i just hope that she doesn’t go get arrested.

Jessica wants to own a castle
with velvety blankets, silk curtains with tassels,
with a dragon, a drawbridge, a moat & a frog,
somewhere near Spain in a mystical fog.
Jessica dreams up these things quite a lot.
Moms thinks she’s a genius…
…i’m thinking she’s not.


picture by, courtesy Google Images

© 1976 kStan(ly) Lanning

Discover challenge – dream
Daily prompt – bridge

15 more years

how in heck,
what a pain in the neck,
will I get from now until then?
here til 5 with nothing to do
and now it’s only just 10.
1 hour wasted, bored to tears
how will I make it for 15 more years?
what can I be doing, where else would I be
if my brain could move a more positive me?

sailing on the nile
photo by Jacqueline Macou courtesy

dancing on the moon
picnicking in June
sailing on the Nile
painting on a smile
writing out a plan
flirting with a man

running for a train
cleaning out that drain
singing a duet
making a good bet
living like it’s fun
not hurting anyone
making art my bitch
never getting rich


double negative by Lauren Peng
photo by Lauren Peng courtesy

something new
on days like this,
but rarely
with little
or don’t
but won’t
got to find a way to stay busy
until I don’t have to be busy
no more


© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning

Discover challenge – sing
Discover challenge – moon

“Be a brick”

“Be a brick,” my ma would say
when she wanted something from me,
but a brick, I’d think, does not do much,
it’s kind of just a dummy.
It needs propulsion from an arm
to travel any distance;
it surely never fetches things,
not without assistance.
It surely never fixes drinks photo courtesy Google Images, by
without the needed fingers —
two was the rule for my dear ma,
the memory still lingers

by itself it isn’t violent
by itself it’s mostly silent

by itself it’s barely active
and that’s hard truth,
that’s just a fact of life for bricks…

Of course I get that if in tandem
with other bricks, in some non-random,
mostly matching symmetry,
and if they’re laid out skillfully,
bricks can be a lot of things —
bridges, chimneys, tall buildings —
but she didn’t pluralize,
so why, ma,
why, ma,
why, ma,

thick as a brick, ok that’s thick
slick as a brick, so not so slick
not quick, no tricks,
but solid, yes, and hard as rocks
and something you can build on
and in a pinch, if your butt is small,
something you can chill on
or use to mark a hidden key
or stop a swatch of weeds
and if the wind is blowing things
a brick might suit your needs…

the brick sailed smoothly through the sky,
whither to, I pondered,
and then it hit me in the eye
and now I am a goner…
or anyway I’m halfway blind,
but it’s okay
and I don’t mind
‘cuz I’m among the lucky few
who now know what one brick can do.

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily post – brick
and in case you missed it there, Daily post – wind

silent partner

this passive person
has no doubts
but all the time
to think them out
he’s seldom apprehensive
almost always pensive
staring somewhere wistfully
never really seeing me

maybe he’s alive in dreams
maybe then he laughs and screams
maybe he buys real estate
maybe he participates
out here he just aggravates
who knows what life inside may be
i sure don’t know,  he won’t  tell me

walruses, photo by Jay Ruzesky, courtesy

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by jay ruzesky, courtesy
Daily Prompt – pensive
Daily Prompt – a whole lot of maybe
Daily Prompt – doubt

he handles his pen with aplomb

the poet had nothing,
nothing but words,
in a well-spoken cursive, delightful.
his words hit on themes
sometimes too obscene,
sometimes too intensely insightful.

he had no other talents
to give him that balance
of steady and bankable income
because most of the time
he was speaking in rhyme,
but isn’t that poetry’s symptom?

with no will to liveflourish
and too little to give
he left home with a weight on his shoulders
leaving behind
what was left of his mind
and a shelf full of tiny tin soldiers.

his sisters spent years
with some kind volunteers
his momma just wanted him near her…
or someone named Keith,
with her losing her teeth
it was getting much harder to hear her.

his rescuers claimed that
his hands were inflamed
when they found him downtown in the Bowery.
they went out on a limb
and confirmed it was him
when his sentences tended to flowery.

“he may be malnourished
but he writes with a flourish
he handles his pen with aplomb”
so they cleaned up his wounds,
brought him back to his room,
where he penned one last poem for his mom.

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning

created for the Daily prompt – flourish
but playing in the Daily prompt – volunteer – while i work on something new
and because i love it so much, Daily prompt – clean

all views with no vision

she sits in her prison,
all views with no vision,
the sadness falls off her in waves

she can’t see the future
she can’t be a new her
she’ll wallow, not leaving, for days

and some down below,
who have no way to know,
their envy is palpably hot

but that’s how it goes
when you get round to those
who could have been “haves” but have not

their blame is misguided
they don’t try to hide it
they can’t place themselves in her shoes

she worked for her status
but none of that matters
tomorrow she’s yesterday’s news

there are those on the street
with no empathy
or the presence of mind to imagine

that up in the penthouse
and down with the left-outs
there are tragedies waiting to happen

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning


daily prompt- vision
daily prompt – waiting

what happened?

he took a path that wasn’t there
he wandered on for miles
he missed their little voices
and their silly little smiles
he lost the thread of time and thought
he could be lost for good
he had no base survival skills
for living in the woods
who knows where this is going
he knows where it’s been
and he also knows there is no way
he can go back again

what happened
photo by Annie Spratt, courtesy

© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning

daily prompt – survival
daily prompt – base