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

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

don’t make them live your drama

i don’t have the inside scoop
on heroin addiction
call it what you need to
it’s a personal affliction
i don’t have an inside view
of this new epidemic
but i survived an alcoholic
so here is my polemic
i was asked so i will say
and i may come down hard
window-bear-163812_960_720please protect the children
or the children will be scarred
if you have a child
but you can’t be
a dad or momma
get the kid to someone safe
don’t make them
live your drama
let them grow up happy
as every child should be
come back to them
when you get clean
they’re the priority
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by public domain pictures, courtesy
created by special request for inside out at to help bring attention to the growing heroin epidemic
Daily prompt – or

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

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

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
created for the Daily prompt – original

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
created for the Daily prompt – border

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
created for the Daily Prompt – value

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
created for the Daily prompt – fragile

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