no wind blows here

her mind’s become a wasteland
an arid desert town
abandoned by its residents
all that’s left is brown
nothing grows here
no wind blows here
do not ask
‘cuz no one knows here
she can’t think now
she can’t focus
today she got her diagnosis



© 2017 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by _marion, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – arid

lonesome languor

the word today
is simple
and yet
it makes
me queasy
i’ve handled many
harder words
i thought
this would
be easy
i wish i had more time
to make a silly rhyme
to put a happy
thought to page
to be a wistful sage
like back when things were rosy
like back when life was cozy
now all collisioncourse1
my thoughts
are deep
a simple
would be
it’s hard to
even care
and what else
could i share
but wizened disrepair
nothing is grabbing me
shaking me out
of my insular

© 2015 & 2017 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by the spectacular and zany siddie bowtie
created for the Daily prompt – simple

the dark spiral

she’s lost her shine of late

not looking good

not feeling great

she’s fallen into darkness
where she’s handcuffed to a soul
who lost the parts that make her real
the parts that make her whole

she’s struggling with her me

not who she once
thought she would be
she’s drowning in depression

where there’s only one reflection
and she can’t bear to look in her direction

© 2017 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by tombud, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – shine

just as much


she held the baby tightly
the boys were tucked in bed
the baby didn’t seem to hear
a single word she said
she said
your daddy’s coming home my sweet
he won’t be gone for long
he didn’t mean those ugly things
he knows that he was wrong
he needs a breath of fresh air now
and time to think it through
and yes, your daddy loves me,
i’m sure your daddy loves me,
believe your daddy loves me
as much as he loves you.

she held her mother tightly
the boys were in the yard
she tried to keep from crying
but by now it wasn’t hard
eleven years of no return
her mother had hung on
a hope had kept her barely there
but now that hope was gone
she said
my daddy won’t be home again
he has another life
he has another family
he has a wealthy wife
he never meant to come back here
but you just never knew
and yes, my daddy loves me,
i’m sure my daddy loves me,
believe my daddy loves me
as much as he loves you

© 2008 & 2017 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by froot, courtesy
daily prompt – gone
napping with the Daily prompt – baby, while I work on something new

Losing Threads

the tie that bindscut-the-rope
is losing threads
they’ll all be gone
before we’re dead
and we’ll be miles apart

the cord is now
a simple string
without the strength
for one-more-thing
and we’re all standing guard

what do we need,
what will it take
to sheathe our swords
for the family’s sake?
we need a meeting
of the minds
to re-construct
the tie that binds



© 2015 kStan(ly) Lanning
created for the Daily prompt – construct

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

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

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

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