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Poetic Form: Lune

Categories: Poetic Forms, Poets.

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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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

95 Responses to Poetic Form: Lune

  1. Sara Gwen says:

                Why do cartoon sheep
                    write haiku?
                — it fits their baaaaaaaa lunes.

  2. sheila harris says:

    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…..

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  5. sheila harris says:

    Terrance Williams.."rebuke" lune and "seeing you " collom….wow!
    AM Trumble…i enjoyed your submissions..clever..

  6. sheila harris says:

    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…

  7. sheila harris says:

    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

  8. claudia marie clemente says:


    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)

  9. 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.

  10. A.M. Trumble says:


    2. No Answer
    morning phone ringing
    one more time,
    won’t answer itself.

    3. Heart Locket

    leaving, open-face
    on the floor
    open, never more.

  11. A.M. Trumble says:

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Sara V says:

    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

  14. Daniel Ari says:

    Half the time
    we force love’s fit; otherwise,
    fiercely defend it.


  15. Brian Slusher says:

    The wind-stirred limbs seem
    to tickle
    the wide-bellied moon

  16. Kelly Lune:

    Carolina beach
    beckons me
    to shag in the sand.


    Collum Lune:

    Bitter rivals debate.
    Talking heads interpret for us.
    Then we vote.


    Morning awakens
    Wednesday calls,
    prompted to renew.

    Rising with the sun,
    misty muse
    wait to be reborn.

    The new day begins
    full of hope,
    burning off the dew.

  18. de jackson says:

    And of course now the date should not appear in the title. Apparently today my ink is also not enough to write a proper poem. Goodness.

  19. de jackson says:

    Grrrr. Typo. Of course this should read:

    Spill – May 25th
    (a Collum Lune for the Gulf)

    My ink is not enough
    to cover this
    bruise made by our ignorance.

  20. de jackson says:

    (a Collum Lune for the Gulf)

    My ink is not enough
    to cover this
    bruise made my our ignorance.

  21. Janet Rice Carnahan says:

    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.

  22. Janet Rice Carnahan says:

    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.

  23. Taylor Graham says:


    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?

  24. Willy says:


    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.

  25. In the aftermath
    of life lived,
    rest is eternal.

  26. Sun showers fill my
    Brilliant wetness falls.

  27. Meena Rose says:

    Tick Tock – Kelly lune rewrite
    By: Meena Rose

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

    I had syllable drift again. Hope this works.

  28. Meena Rose says:

    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.

  29. I take a deep breath,
    in and out of life

  30. de jackson says:

    (A Kelly Lune)

    Lune for the Moon

    Pale night sky mirror
    like me, you
    don’t shine your own light.

  31. 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.

  32. 3-5-3 is word based poetry (Collum)

    5-3-5 is syllable based poetry (Kelly)

  33. OK, I was using 3-5-3 as well. Darn it. Someone I will learn to count. And follow rules. (Yeah, like the second one’s gonna happen!)

  34. Theresa Cavicchio says:

    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.

  35. I constantly think of tomatoes, so it’s all good, Margaret! Funny twist.

  36. Walt, love your latest — but I haven’t had a whole lot of coffee .. so I immediately thought of tomatoes …

    Rotten tomatoes
    haunting my

  37. Chasing tornadoes,
    hold your hat
    or "Gone With the Wind".

  38. Phil Jurasinski says:

    Oops. I messed it up a bit; I thought it was 3/5/3 instead of 5/3/5. Well, I’m gonna leave it up anyway.

  39. Phil Jurasinski says:

    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–

  40. Phil Jurasinski says:

    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.

  41. Mike Bayles says:

    daytime’s progression
    awaits darkness fall

  42. 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

  43. oops… "UNSUCCESSFUL"

    So hasty to write this before it left my brain
    I committed the copy editor’s sin: TYPO AGAIN


    Come here often?
    Are you a real blonde?
    Live near here?

    Wake me up…
    I must still be dreaming
    Want a Quaalude?

  45. FATIGUE Kelly Lune

    God I am so tired
    Yet my eyelids will not close
    Tomorrow hovers



    if you chase rainbows,
    be ready
    to find no gold pot


    living life alone
    is equal
    to having stuffed pets


    let’s measure our lives
    by how much
    our good deeds are not


  47. POET P.O.V.

    Kelly View:

    Peregrine in flight
    soars upward.
    Avian freedom.

    Collum View:

    Peregrine in flight
    soars upward to the heavens.
    Witness avian freedom.

  48. Taylor Graham says:


    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.

  49. Phil Jurasinski says:

    Collum Lune, or at least my attempt at one.

    Mink coats always
    adorn her narrow shoulders, masking
    severe anorexia nervosa.

  50. 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! ;^)


    Barefoot beach combing
    A purple and white stone
    the simplest treasure

    Pleasures my pocket
    Keeps me warm silent company
    Til I’m home

  52. HASTE

    In heated haste
    The condoms were somehow skipped
    Oops, it’s blue

  53. My mom said
    "She’s crazy as a loon"
    She meant me

  54. Mike Bayles says:

    birds taken to sky
    ride currents
    recall heaven’s ways

  55. Candelyn says:

    Oops on the double post above. I made a couple of corrections.

  56. Candelyn says:

    Seeing through fingers
    madly how
    like touching his heart

  57. Candelyn says:

    Seeing through fingers,
    madly though,
    like touching his heat!

  58. Daniel Ari says:

    LOL, Walt: "one from Collum A"

  59. And in dog years, there is no five second rule, Dan! I admire your persistence!

  60. Dan Collins says:

    3 for three ~ I thought he said 5/3/5, must be the multi-tasking I’m doing today.

    Collom Lune


    My dog only
    eats ice off the floor
    he’s a purist

  61. Hannah Gosselin says:

    Sheila, thank you and I love your discovery, I can almost smell the mint!

  62. Dan Collins says:

    Collom Lune


    My dog only eats ice
    off the floor
    I guess he’s a purist

  63. Sara McNulty says:

    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

  64. Laurie Kolp says:


    heat to burn my feet
    summer is
    fireworks at night’s end

  65. 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.

  66. sheila harris says:

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

  67. sheila harris says:

    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

  68. 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.

  69. sheila harris says:

    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

  70. Dan Collins says:

    Apparently I’m having trouble getting it right the first time today.

    Rabbit Dusk

    fearing the barn owl,
    a rabbit
    scans the sanguine sky

  71. Dan Collins says:

    Rabbit Dusk

    fearing the barn owl,
    rabbit scans
    a sanguine sky

  72. I’m liking this form better than Haiku. Very descriptive in few words.

    Good one, all! I dig the images portrayed.

  73. Dan Collins says:

    oops(mis-spelled blossom)

    Cherry blossoms pale
    under crown
    The red bird returns

  74. Dan Collins says:

    Cherry blossums pale
    under crown.
    The red bird returns.

  75. I’m like Chicken Man! I’m everywhere, I’m everywhere…

  76. Marie Elena says:

    Oh my goodness … these are GREAT! You’ve all done fabulous work. Each different from the others.

    Walt, how on earth…

  77. Hannah Gosselin says:

    Beautiful collection Walt!

  78. RJ Clarken says:

    my organizer
    needs a bit
    of organizing

  79. Robert, thanks for the new to me form– I’m hooked

    Under glowing moon
    passing clouds
    cover Orion


    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.

  81. Hannah Gosselin says:

    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.


    Here on Golden Pond,
    their call sings.
    "It’s the loons, Norman!"

  83. Juanita Snyder says:

    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

  84. John says:

    The cuckoo now mute
    sleep beckons
    I severed its throat

  85. Marie Elena says:

    You nailed it, Bruce. And AMEN.

  86. Bruce Niedt says:

    Tar balls on the beach
    oil-slicked sea
    God, what have we done?

  87. Marie Elena says:

    Thanks Ina, but I didn’t do it right! :( My second stab at it is right, but I don’t like it nearly as well.

  88. Marie Elena says:

    Let’s try again.

    All means all, and that’s
    all all means.
    All always means all.

    I like the first (wrong) one better. Oh well.

  89. ina says:

    This is a really beautiful form.

    Thanks Robert.

    PS Nice poem, Marie Elena :)

  90. Marie Elena says:

    Ooops … that didn’t work. I guess I combined the two types! Hmmm…

  91. Marie Elena says:

    All means all
    and that is always
    all all means.

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