it’s in their dna

he had a scorched-earth policy
where women were concerned
fire-298105_960_720destroy the things
she treasures
but what he never learned
was women are resourceful
it’s in their dna
to make the most
with what is left
to make it through the day
to feed the hungry babies
to shelter and defend
to wait it out with patience
believing it will end
he thought he was invincible
he isn’t any longer
she’s alive, her kids survived,
which one of them was stronger?
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by loggawiggler, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – scorched

does it count?

she has the best of everything
all the bells and tweets
silks and satins,
gold embossed,
imported turkish treats
she dresses up
to dine alone
a refugee retired
to somewhere safe
and non-abusive
surrounds herself
with no one
in an empty neighborhood
she cloaks herself in shadows
and goes walking in the woods
and like the tree that falls freely
with no one to decree it
does it count as ostentatious
if there’s no one there to see it?
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by werner22brigitte, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – ostentatious

the pickle-footed tickle

the pickle-footed tickle lived
beneath the castle keep
with other beings mythical
below the darkest deep

he crept upstairs at sunrisefig-1152054_960_720
too small for them to see
and hid himself behind
the bookcase in the nursery
peals of joyous mischief rang
when nanny left the suite
the pickle-footed tickle
tickled tiny little feet
the pickle-footed tickle
got the blame for lots of things
like leaving toys all strewn about
and leaving bathtub rings
and when the pie got eaten
they said he took the first bite
but he never got the credit for
how well they slept at night
he left on boxing day when all
they gave him was a nickel
and that’s the last we heard about
the pickle-footed tickle

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by susannp4, courtesy
Daily prompt – mythical

brain freeze

today the words
won’t percolateautumn-1804592_960_720
the blood to brain
won’t circulate
i’m going to
and hang out with
the sun today
the clouds the leaves
the passing breeze
may blow my blues away
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by tpsdave, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – percolate

the way the birds go

despite the mess
they leave behind
pigs do not
have filthy minds
or filthy mouths
as far as words go
they don’t go off
the way the birds go
cussin’,  swearin’
hardly carin’
who they hurt
with what they say
pigs are kinder
in that way
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by larsen9236, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – filthy

thanks a bunch

the tart little apple
fell from the tree
she batted her eyes
apple-green-356037_960_720and she cooed help me
granny grace
was walking by
she picked that apple
for her pie
but hours before
she went to bake it
henry came along
to take it
in his brown bag
with his lunch
so thank you henry
thanks a bunch
you did this little
green a favor
tart little apples
live to be savored
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by comfreak courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – tart

to emphasize her point

daddy loved all kinds of fish
his favorite food hands down
but momma made
the kitchen rules
no seafood was allowedseafood-platter-1605699_960_720
so any time he craved a dish
with lobster, mussels,
clams or fish
he had to take us out to eat
at fancy, upscale joints
and sit across
the room from her
to emphasize her point
momma had reserved for fish
a special kind of hate
she worried that their molecules
would creep onto her plate
their children got to see them both
behaving somewhat selfish(ly)
but as for me, my empathy
lay mainly with the shellfish(ies)*
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by mp1746 courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – fish
* because of this Lewis Carroll favorite, The Walrus and The Carpenter

peaceful resistance

last night i overheard a spat
i wasn’t meant to hear
i went outside to call the cat
the sky was midnight clear
the moon held to
her lofty perch
despite a bracing breeze
that got into an argument
and wrestled with the trees
give me all your leaves it said
the crying leaves held tighter
a howling roar did nothing more
than make the moon shine brighter
the trees’ peaceful resistance
made the wind rage even stronger
the cat and i went back inside
couldn’t listen any longer
today i think i’ll stay inside
i just don’t want to see
how it all shook out last night
or the mess they left for me
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by rob pettengill courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – lofty

one incendiary glance


fire-protection-1312423_960_720we have this friend, ophelia,
most stunning girl around
she enlists new paramours
whenever she’s in town
all it takes from her is one
incendiary glance
to have them fall in line
and follow, as if in a trance
she doesn’t seem to notice them
she never asks their names
she doesn’t visit long enough
to un-ignite their flames


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

padding optional

all of a sudden it seems
a storm of animosity
is boiling up in mepadded cell.png
like i’m coming apart at the seams
or a rope or vine is uncoiling in me
and i’m just about to snap
just about to haul off & slap
this total stranger
for her rudeness
just about to burst
to rant or scream or curse
or tantrum my way
into a small cell
with or without
the padding

© 2002 & 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – or