Poetic Form: Lune

The lune is also known as the American Haiku. It was first created by the poet Robert Kelly (truly a great poet) and was a result of Kelly’s frustration with English haiku. After much experimentation, he settled on a 13-syllable, self-contained poem that has 5 syllables in the first line, 3 syllables in the second line and 5 syllable in the final line.

Unlike haiku, there are no other rules. No need for a cutting word. Rhymes are fine; subject matter is open. While there are less syllables to use, this form has a little more freedom.

Here’s my attempt at one:

trees never wander
but still spread
across open fields

That is the Kelly Lune.


There is a variant lune created by poet Jack Collom. His form is also a self-contained tercet, but his poem is word-based (not syllable-based) and has the structure of 3 words in the first line, 5 words in the second line and 3 words in the final line.

As with Kelly’s lune, there are no other rules.

Here’s my attempt at a Collom lune:

An envelope labeled
loose change holds coins meant
for loose teeth.


Here are a few other lune resources I found online:


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Learn about other poetic forms in John Drury’s The Poetry Dictionary. (Click to continue.)


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95 thoughts on “Poetic Form: Lune

  1. sheila harris

    Sara V ..beautiful and gentle
    Daniel Ari..amazing wisdom in your offering
    Brian Slusher….so vivid the picture you paint
    Dave Schneider..was that you and who? I spied on balmy night on the beach..lol..
    and love the Collom..sadly so true…
    Walt W.."Newness" ..you’ve captured Wednesday’s trials ,attempts and triumphs here..and thank you very much for your detailed answer to my earlier query regarding micro poetry..it is that forms "drabble" is it not?
    De Jackson "Spill" made my heart ache..there is not enough ink or tears..praying that the reclamation will be fast.. wonderful Collom..
    I wrote these last evening but could not post due to a passing storm…..

  2. sheila harris

    Robert ,coming ‘back’ to this exercise and again reading your clever observation of trees I am blown away again..
    lovely and so damn clever..
    Amy! oh I know that is so NOT true about your brain being icky but there true beauty does lie..so I agree with 50% of your observation..:)
    thoroughly enjoyed your additions here….especially "Fatigue" and "Found Delight’.. your humor in "Haste" and "Actual Pickup Lunes" (lol) off the hook..
    and your Ma and my Ma musta studied at the same "School of Hurled Verbal Hurts"..lol..sticks an’ stones, afterall…

  3. sheila harris

    My attempt at a Collom Lune..with MANY thanks! to our wunnerfull Amy Barlow Liberatore..Thanks ,sweetie, for the head’s up on the final line…:)..I did remove the "the"…

    "water bouquets"

    freshets of tulips
    spring up from pelted pavement
    ozone scent lingers

    fleur-de-lis to some
    these flowers will never last
    once rain passes

    sheila harris

  4. claudia marie clemente


    scrape blood crusts,
    gentle, unveil cores.

    stencil with syringe,
    your name here:
    labia and thigh.

    paris apple (bite)
    gods’ contest
    won. now: chew french flesh.

    (claudia marie clemente)

  5. Brenda Warren

    wee yellow spider
    still you sit
    on potentilla

    ~~~~~~Click on my name, and it will take you to the picture that inspired the piece. I took it on the 4th. It’s an interesting arachnid.

    Thanks for the challenge.

  6. A.M. Trumble

    1. Question for Collom

    Question: the lune-
    Far exceeds the rest, or,
    minimalist at best?

    2.Job Market

    The wait in between,

    3. Open Locket

    Left open, face fell-
    On the floor,
    open heart, no more.

  7. Terrance Williams

    Kelly Lune

    you rebuke me daily
    with the sun
    can we keep the night

    Collom Lune

    I always dread
    seeing you because I know
    it cannot last

    Here are my two attempts. Thanks for the opportunity.
    – twitter.com/tmothaphukinw

  8. Sara V

    Amy found delight in Found Delight! and laughed at your pick up lunes–very clever!

    Robert–enjoyed the tree poem–thank you for this extra opportunity to poem

    Walt-great movie and lovely lune

    De-beautiful as usual

    Brian So beautifully worded–love it

    Here’s mine


    Drops slide into streams
    Petals gleam
    In the rising sun

  9. Janet Rice Carnahan

    Next Collum

    It came time,
    To know what truth was,
    Now it is!

    Cat walked in,
    Looked most wise for him!
    Quick glance, yes!

    Baby smiled,
    Touched burn on my arm.
    Pain is gone.

  10. Janet Rice Carnahan

    It came to my mind,
    What was real?
    Being free was it!

    Strong sun for growth,
    Ensures heat.
    Enables our life.

    Open windows shine,
    Fresh air in.
    Inviting us out.

  11. Taylor Graham


    Bright-chill morning;
    slow, low-flying clouds – sheep
    graze the green.

    Dry creek after
    a rain – suddenly cascading waterfalls.
    What’s next? Rainbows?

    Thistle’s in bloom
    with prickly, glorious purple flowers
    and ecstatic bees.

    Mower cuts dying
    grasses, coils them into birds-
    nests, native baskets.

    A girl with
    green feathers in her hair.
    Why not fly?

  12. Willy


    I am so confused
    about where
    my life is heading.

    Depression covers
    my shoulders
    daily, and I cry.

    Worry creeps under
    the mantle.
    What sad company.

    One should know better.
    Don’t unwind
    like this. Get a grip.

    Take control. Breathe deep.
    Stare down fear.
    Move forward with guts.

    Just because it seems
    no one cares
    what I do, stay strong.

    No one else matters.
    To survive,
    what counts is myself.


    Let me fly
    away from all my troubles;
    rest in peace.


    Thanks for this exercise, Robert.
    I’m enjoying it greatly.
    Hope to catch up on reading tonight. Been away.
    Actually, honestly, missed y’all and the activity.

  13. Meena Rose

    Tick Tock – Collum Lune
    By: Meena Rose

    Son, come home;
    My days here are numbered;
    I am sorry.


    Tick Tock – Kelly Lune
    By: Meena Rose

    Son, come home today;
    I am sorry;
    I will die tomorrow.

  14. Evelyn N. Alfred

    I’ve been spelling lune the wrong way, I though it was loon.

    I wrote one during napowrimo:

    dear self-confidence,
    i miss you
    we met once before

    so long ago, i
    am afraid
    it never happened.

    i want you, need you
    in my life
    where can i find you?

    maybe you have a
    twitter page?
    i’ll start with google.

  15. Theresa Cavicchio

    where computers rule
    life is lived
    one click at a time


    mouse in hand
    one click at a time
    we move forward

    First opportunity today to try out each of the two lune forms. All here are terrific. Thanks, Robert.

  16. Phil Jurasinski

    Boy, I was having trouble with the Kelly lune, but I think I have I strong attempt–but it definitely has a lot of gravity, similar to my Collum lune. Don’t know why I’m so serious about this form!

    Kelly lune:
    of broken households–

  17. Phil Jurasinski

    Thanks Amy for your kind words :) I also really like your poem "Haste," especially since I was inspired to write a poem about the Pill. My poem was a mixture of two inspirations–one, from a friend whose mother slipped laxatives into her family’s food, and secondly, the song "The Glamorous Life" by Sheila E.

  18. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Salvatore, I love your use of cynicism in your poem. It’s true.
    Phil, a wake-up call of a lune. I was at one point bulemic (caused by wrong mix of psych meds) and your work really touched me.
    Walt, double-take, and both work so well. I love your writing.
    Laurie, are you speaking of summer heat, or the fact that some women’s feet need to rest on ice packs for awhile before sleep? (Just wondering, because I’m at a certain age…!!!)
    Marie, I loved both of yours. All in all, you’re all I need to read some days…!
    Dan, your nature themes are evocative and bring me peace. Thank you.
    Sheila, about that ditch – ain’t it the truth? Sometimes the greatest beauty is found in the ickiest places… like my brain, hahahahaha

  19. Taylor Graham


    What fits in thirteen
    First word of morning.

    Six at the table
    where poems
    ripen like plucked fruit.

    Under dull gray sky,
    Sun’s in buttercups.

    Bright orbs in the stream
    over stones,
    eyes of dogs long gone.

    What closes thirteen
    One last word of song.

  20. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Walt: "Norman, you old poop!" Loved all your contributions. "Collum A" is amaaaaaazing. Micro poetry intrigues – will log on if only to read. I myself having verbal diarrhea will probably not participate, hee hee. Also, I guess my Found Delight is more in the Collum form? Since it travels from tercet to tercet, am I right?

    Candelyn: Sometimes touching his heat IS touching his heart! ;^)

  21. Sara McNulty

    A Kelly Lune

    Rain beats tunes on street
    We will wait
    Dog cries tune at door

    A Collum Lune

    The Killdeer taunts our dog
    who pulls, frustrated
    The Killdeer turns and flies

  22. Walt Wojtanik

    Sheila. Wish I could take credit for micro poetry. I actually came upon it by logging into whatever sites I saw Robert was a fan of. micro had been one of them. The original administrator got a call from life and had to surrender the reigns. He sought me out to take it over. When I signed on nine months or so ago, we had approx. 215 members and hardly any postings. As of today, we’ve reached 285 (fifteen just since yesterday). The whole theory was to write short form verse originally in ten lines or less. I bumped it to 16 lines and that seems plenty. We’re going strong now and always looking for new voices as Robert can attest. I’ve learned a thing or two watching the master’s moves. Thanks for the kind words.

  23. sheila harris

    Micro Poetry! Is that a new discovery/creation?
    I’m intrigued..
    whatever you attempt really takes wing..a pleasure to read you..

  24. sheila harris

    my Kelly Lune attempt:

    Can’t Miss

    Spring bicycle ride
    tree lined roads
    tires squish tent worms

    my Collom lune attempt


    Found living treasure
    back road dirt drainage ditch
    wild mint grows

  25. Walt Wojtanik

    Thanks sheila. I’m getting comfortable with everything Robert has been challenging us with so far. The "Collum ‘A’" actually flows from the previous tercet. Sort of linked in a non-obvious way. I do experiment with a lot of different forms. I am the administrator a micro poetry (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=116682614879&ref=mf) , and have been following Roberts lead on different forms over there. I’m glad you liked my Lunes.

  26. sheila harris

    Robert, your Kelly Lune is just wonderful!
    Your Collom lune meaning escaped me until I thought through and tried to view through your eyes,a young father with children losing baby teeth and the tooth fairy in the midst..then it was clear and touching.

    Walt! I am amazed by your prodigious creation’Ones from Collom "A" ‘..you are at home with so many poetry forms.
    Margaret Fieland: very beautiful!
    Dan Collins : I enjoyed both the Cherry Blossoms and Rabbit Dusk
    RJ Clarken: i got a chuckle!
    Bruce Niedt: timely lune..what indeed have ‘they’ done..
    Maria Elena: quite a brain and tongue twister! i like..
    Hannah: very good ! i like how you mixed the forms in this poem of the devastation in the Gulf
    John: you nailed the form but oh..how morbid!lol

  27. Walt Wojtanik


    Early morning rain
    washes the disdain from life,
    a freshness exposed.

    In the dawning,
    sunshine peeks through the clouds
    enlightening my mind.

    Thoughts brought forth
    in a new poetic way
    express the soul.

    All feelings live
    within the hearts of poets,
    fueling their muse.

    Writing for life,
    all while living to write
    time well spent.

    Time and tide
    stand still for all men
    after their passing.

    A journey begun
    with a single word, expresses
    what poets see.

    Lost in thought,
    ideas germinate into loving bloom.
    A poet writes.

  28. Hannah Gosselin

    Bruce, yours brings me to tears…

    Robert, thanks for the new forms of haiku, I enjoyed your example.

    Marie, we’ll call your first a variant lune by "Good." Nice!

    Countless animals
    blood thirsty power.

    My heart breaks
    my spirit saddened and sickened
    money hungry maniacs.

    I’ve been blocking my emotions regarding this devastating event because it’s just too sad. I woke up thinking and praying about it this morning though so Bruce’s poem really hit home.

  29. Juanita Snyder

    Collum Lune

    Blue Pacific Loon
    calls over foggy woodland waters
    lonely Loon lune

    Kelly Lune

    Minnesota Loon
    pitches woo
    snags Alberta mate

    © 2010 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder