the absence of technique

daddy’s darling watched him paint
and wanted to paint some too
so he let her paint the mailbox
but he found when she was through
paint on her clothes
and the tip of her nose
and a blue slash defining her cheek
he really had to marvel atpainted-girl-807497__340
the absence of technique
there was paint on her arms,
in fact, most of her body
the mailbox however,
decidedly spotty,
needed painting again
to look painted first
if it had been a dismal day
daddy would have cursed
but no other apprentice was cheerier
and she had such zeal
so next time she appealed
he assigned her the closet interior
© 2017 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by matlachu, courtesy
Daily prompt – interior

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

daddy has no boys

i’ve got one daughter primping
in the upstairs bath since 3
my 2nd daughter’s preening
for a date with destiny
when i get in the shower
there’s no water left for me

my 3rd girl is preparing
for what, i can’t presume
there’s hair and hair clips everywhere
and underthings are strewn
as evidence that they’ve been there
in every single room

my youngest daughter babbles
that the fault is all my own
her science teacher taught her
about x-y chromosomes
no matter what her mother says
tomorrow she stays home

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

daddy can’t wait

don’t babble,
your scrabble tiles
or else exchange themscrabble-quiet
i don’t have all night
yes you are adorable
your game skills,
though, deplorable
playing with a chatterbox
has killed my appetite
barbie, doll,
i gotta say
you talk more than
your sobriquet
your tiles are on the floor

never mind,
let’s play a hand
of something that
you understand
like 5-card stud or
7-card no peek
we’ll try this game
when you turn four
next week

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

the tigress and Euphrates

daddy took us to the beach
the memories so vivid,
on saturdays and sunny days,
at every chance he did it,
a great big man all blonde and tan
and 4 young giggling daughters
those were days when New York had
much less polluted waters.
we’d play for hours, good humor breaks,
and watch him watch the ladies
but steer him clear of those two there,
the tigress and Euphrates.

we’d sandcastle & seahorse ride
he never seemed to weary
and I remember stories told
of diving in Lake Erie
a full day done and like the sun
we’d pack up our possessions
and head back home
where mom would groan
her own trademark expressions
like be a brick and tell me
did he flirt with all the ladies
and we’d deny he had an eye
on the tigress or Euphrates

tigress and

© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by Hans, courtesy
Daily prompt – water
if you liked this verse, you’ll prob’ly like this one t0o
and it pictured itself with the Daily prompt – vivid until something new appears

“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

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