i’ve brushed my hair
& brushed my teeth
& brushed my hair again
i’m ready to go,
i’m on my way,
i’m out the door & then
i rush back in and brush my hair & brush my teeth again.

i’ve changed my dress
& changed my mind
& changed my dress once more.
i’m ready to go,
i’m on my way,
i’m out the door & then
i rush back in and change my dress & change my mind again.

i’ve done my eyes
& done my nails
& done my eyes all over
i step outside
& i can smell
the fresh clean scent of clover
i rush back in and do my eyes and do my nails all over.

i’ve done all this
and done all that
and done it all again
this is it now
i feel sure
i’m out for good and then
i rush back in and brush my hair and brush my teeth again.
© 1977 & 2017 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture courtesy
Daily prompt – scent

cover that with a sheet

i don’t want tostatue-1473425_960_720
be a martyr
if it means i
get a statue
it’s hard enough
to look into a mirror
in statue form
my flaws would be
much clearer
plus, to match my
they’d have to store my statue
in the basement

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

um uh zombie

too much late at night
playin stayin in the lights
prancin dancin in the dark
runnin barefoot in the park
too much early a.m.
painting faces on the train
rickety rackety
rackety rick
need caffeine now
need it quick
and i arrive and i am here
to sit and stare and type & tap
can’t lay down now, cannot nap
taking orders on the telephone
um uh zombie
um uh zombie
um uh zombie
can’t elicit energy
to find my way back home
eyes closing
dozing dozing
i must be a sight
someday i’ll give up the day job
but how will i pay for the nights?


© 2001 & 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by fearscare , courtesy
Daily prompt – elicit


i’ve lost my gloves
(my fathers too,
his were old
& mine were new)
i’ve lost my luck &
lost my way,
i’ve had a loss forlost glove
things to say,
i’ve lost some money
and some friends,
and that’s what
counts most
in the end.

i’ve lost my shoes
and lost my glasses
and “lost” my
please-excuse-me passes,
i’ve lost my lunch
and lost all hope
and lost that tiny
bar of soap
i’ve lost my patience
and my mind,
but a really good friend
is hard to find.


© 1975 kStan(ly) Lanning
Daily prompt – tiny

a nebulous funk

bush-640619_960_720i’m gonna need
a breakthrough
i’m in a nebulous funk
i’m trying to
pull off a take-two
resuscitate my spunk
a downward spiral
drags me
and zaps away
my strength
if i could breach the surface
i’d go to any length
this is a week after surgery
this is an energy gap
this is my painkillers talking
i’m gonna go take a nap
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by mystics art design, courtesy
created for the Daily Prompt – breakthrough

too much of a reach

she has to change the light bulb
but it’s too much of a reach
she got a stool to stand on but
she’s still too far beneath
it’s way up there and she’s down here
her arm won’t stretch no further
it might look quite amusing
to a passing by observer
she got the ladder out but she
falls short an inch or four
she hates to have to say she’s not
the right man for this chore
the challenge here is daunting
cuz the ceiling fan is taunting and
she’s close enough up there to see
the paint has started peeling
the lesson learned too late in life:
people of a limited height
shouldn’t buy homes with high ceilings
©2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by blackbirdvisual1 , courtesy
made for the daily prompt – reach

all visible fiscal success

luxury is not for her, she tends to be a mess
and rips or stains or drops or
maims all visible fiscal success
she’s been to a place or two with
fine accouterments and views
appreciated, but couldn’t wait
to go home and
lose her shoes
this is a girl who
can’t be polished
you can dress her up
send her to college
clean her house
while she’s not in it
but it only takes
a new york minute
for a hair to stray
a strap to snap
a cabernet to spill in her lap
a wrinkle* to crease an elegant
silk an hour to sour her powdered
milk or a boot heel to fill up with rocks**
cheers with beersshe may lack class
but she’s no ass her
disposable income’s
in stocks and
bonds and
real estate
and she’d
rather hang out
with her mates
© 2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
picture by unsplash, courtesy
created for the Daily prompt – luxury
but also befitting the Daily prompt – elegant –
and the Daily prompt – or – while i work on a new one

how did the hill

the mountainhow did the hill
become a mountain
leaving youth
without a fountain
looking ahead is
never wise
when you can’t see the other side
what once was not
every ounce
of strength
i’ve got
i just don’t get
how this can be
how did the hill become a mountain
did it workout more than me?

©2016 kStan(ly) Lanning
photo by unsplash, courtesy
daily prompt – mountain
but it prefers the daily prompt – youth


from the moment i was born,
they knew it would be so —
my swaddling clothes were wrinkled —
that was the way i’d grow.
i grew from wrinkled underpants
to mostly crumpled shirts,
i wore my tights, 2 times too big,
under my crinkled skirts.
i grew into a wrinkled teen
in graduation gown,
and when i became queen i wore,
of course, a crumpled crown.
now i wear a tousled look
to match my crooked smile,
now it’s time to straighten out,
if only for a while.

© 1973 kStan(ly) Lanning