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 courtesy
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
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
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
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
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
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
created for the Daily prompt – urgent
skipping along with the Daily prompt – relish – while i work on something new

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
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
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
created for the Daily prompt – candle
Daily prompt – retreat