Luc Bat Poems: Poetic Form

The luc bat is a Vietnamese poetic form that means “six-eight.” In fact, the poem consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables. This poem is interesting in its rhyme scheme that renews at the end of every eight-syllable line and rhymes on the sixth syllable of both lines.

Here’s a diagram of how the first few lines of luc bat poems should rhyme:

xxxxxA
xxxxxAxB
xxxxxB
xxxxxBxC
xxxxxC
xxxxxCxD
xxxxxD
xxxxxDxE

And so on. Luc bat poems have no set length or subject matter, and some run on for thousands of lines.

Here’s my attempt at a luc bat poem:

“Median”

Sometimes, I’d rather start
close to the middle part of love
after the stars above
but before crying doves fly off
in a Boris Karloff
and David Hasselhoff type way
near the end of a play
about a rainy day gone bad–
the end is always sad
with someone being had–you know,
a medias res show.

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Feel free to share your own attempts below, but realize that there may be another WD Poetic Form Challenge just around the corner (hint, hint).

Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

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32 thoughts on “Luc Bat Poems: Poetic Form

  1. RobHalpin

    missed the cutoff for the challenge, so I’ll just post this here

    There’s An Appetizer For That

    Lazing one afternoon
    blues skies gave way too soon to clouds
    when from below came loud
    splashes as Ali plowed her way
    through the murk of the bay
    just to stop in a ray of sun.
    Does she do that for fun?
    Maybe she’s on the run, in fright,
    hoping to see the night.
    The thought of gator bites hit me.

  2. laurie kolp

    Dangled

    You dangle on the edge
    of sanity’s ledge, one leg
    wobbling like an egg
    about to crack. You beg for love
    unrequited, then shove
    anxiety above intent.
    All trust is broken, spent-
    a trail of bitter scent, the lies
    betrayal, alibis
    as fragile as my cries dangling
    by the thread you sling.

  3. Marjory MT

    SANDCASTLE
    Sandcastle by the sea,
    Built by just you and me, today
    As at the beach we play,
    and while the hours away, in fun
    enjoying the hot sun.

    Feeling we as one with tide
    And it’s relentless glide
    We watch to see it slid the beach
    Until the castle reach.
    Slowly it starts to breach a place
    Along our castle’s face.

    Sandcastle spreads like lace to fade
    Away as if not made
    But day’s memories all stayed to give
    Two hearts reason to live.

    1. paulatc

      This is lovely! I like it very much. (You left the “e” off of “slide” in the third line, second stanza – but small matter – we all know what it was supposed to be, and I am often too picky! I really am not trying to offend. It’s a great luc bat – I admire your cohesive subject and the flow of words. The form did not get i the way!

      1. Marjory MT

        Thank you for your comments and

        Actually – THANK YOU about the spelling – I do not see things like that. Spelling and editing are constent challenges for me and have produced some really funny (few time embarrassing) results.

  4. RJ Clarken

    Measure

    I heard a note…then more.
    It soon became a score. It rose
    and grew. Would one suppose
    those notes are just for those who hear
    that magic flute? Unclear.
    But still…I know when ‘ere it’s played
    I’d march in its parade:
    its song can never fade. A note…

    ###

  5. mulligan

    Her’s my attemt at it: hope the form is right

    “God is in Control”

    God is in control.
    When all else fails surrender to Him
    don’t live life on a whim.
    Cry and let the tears of emotions out
    don’t live life in doubt.
    Gaze up into the blue heavens and pray
    that you will not be lead astray.
    Let the light shine in the darkness.

  6. J.lynn Sheridan

    “To our royal love”

    What love is this that night
    delays our secret flight into
    lost passion? I’ll hold you
    until sorrows are few and faint,
    until tears of joy paint
    chains of hearts into quaint embrace.
    Then, with sigh and pearled lace,
    we’ll soar high upon love’s grace toward
    ancient dreams. Over fjord
    and vale to claim reward—a song
    of gold, a ring of strong
    desire where we belong as one.

  7. tunesmiff

    Here’s my attempt… having spent the day on the diamond, what would you expect but:

    LUKE BATS
    (A Luc Bat Poem)
    ————————-
    First pitch: inside and high,
    Coach called, “Good eye, good eye; ball one;
    “We need to get this run.
    “Come on, Kid, have some fun! Stand in.”
    An inside pitch again,
    And the dug-out chants begin: Ball two.
    Before he even knew
    What the pitcher threw- a strike!
    That one was one he’d like
    To see again. He spikes the clay,
    “Hey, hey; what-a you say;
    “Just put the ball in play! Let’s go,
    “Kid! Let’s go, Kid. Let’s show
    “‘Em what you really know! A hit
    “Is all we need. Get it,
    “Now, hit it.” He stopp’d, spit, then swung,
    It flew foul, his hands stung;
    The count tied, the ball flung once more:
    Low and away, back door,
    Missed, that’s ball three of four. Signs flash;
    The runner makes his dash
    For third just as bat smashes ball
    And we wait, one and all,
    For the ruling, the call, the sound:
    New heroes being crowned.
    ——————————–

    : )

    g
    ________________________________
    <

  8. paulatc

    I gave myself a time limit on this one – brand new form to me by the way – because I gave myself only 15 minutes away from my other writing demands. I will admit it was fun – I appreciate the introduction to a form I enjoy reading, even though I don’t think it’s one at which I could excel. Here’s my painful stab:

    “Kill it before it multiplies!”

    Writing good poetry
    has always challenged me to think,
    to empty out my sink
    of cliched rhymes that stink and reek,
    with dated language. Weak
    metered verse does not speak, nor sing.
    Strong poems make bells ring.
    This verse hurts like the sting of bees
    It brings me to my knees
    To ask forgiveness, please of those
    Who found thorns but no rose.

  9. taylor graham

    JACK MEETS LOKI

    Look at him, pup who lived
    in a crate, his life sieved through wire.
    What does a dog desire
    but to let the bright fire of sun,
    wind, earth stir him, to run
    to the horizon? One new friend
    to lead, to tug the end
    of leash, to make it bend; to fly.
    The two of them dash by
    so happy under sky, alive.

  10. J.lynn Sheridan

    I guess I’ll attempt to tell a story with mine then work on more later. It’s a different form to play with.

    “Tribal feud”

    When Uncle Bones walked in,
    a gray tail on his chin, I knew
    this was someone that you
    would unroll your tongue to with ease.
    You being a Mick; he’s
    one untamed tongue of tease, rambler,
    and champion gambler
    of blarney, commander of oomph.
    Loud enough to triumph
    and big enough to humph all digs
    of slurs thrown back in swigs
    of jest. You two bigwigs could lay
    it on thick ‘til your play
    turns into yesterday’s foray
    of wit and will to slay
    pride—a show I’ll not stay to view.

  11. Marjory MT

    LucBat by the SEA

    Try to catch this new rhyme
    Make it come out in time, and beat
    Just right, can be a feat
    I wish to make complete today
    ‘for I must go away
    Into the sun to play and run.
    Get my exercise done
    Part of my daily fun to slim
    Hoping to get to thin
    So soon it can begin to be
    Just comfortable for me
    Going down to the sea to lay
    All day by the sea’s bay

  12. Imaginalchemy

    This is a fun poetic form…I’ve never heard of a luc bat poem before. So, I’ll give it a try…hope I did this right: (if I didn’t, I’ll work on it some more)

    Bioluminescence
    From your stark darkness, whence it came
    Through your skin, like blue flame
    That secret, your true name, your glow
    That the whole world should know
    One day it starts to grow until
    You are fire, pure will, and grit
    New body, new spirit
    And then you will be it: Reborn.

      1. Marjory MT

        I like you poem. It is a fun and challenging form.

        U May want another bit to go between
        “”Until you are fire,
        ……………………….and grit.

  13. taylor graham

    Got a little lost in the form. Here’s another try.

    WHAT THE ARTIST SAID

    If color is your tongue –
    your very language sprung from blue,
    red, yellow – then each hue
    has sound and meaning. You were made
    to dance with color, shade
    and form, with texture laid down rich
    or sparing. It’s an itch
    that takes the fingers, twitch and spark
    that lights the wordless dark –
    a many-colored arc that sings
    the speechless song that stings.

  14. taylor graham

    WHAT THE ARTIST SAID

    If color is your tongue –
    your very language sprung from blue,
    red, yellow – then each hue
    has sound and meaning. You were made
    to dance with color, shade
    and form, with texture laid down rich
    or sparing. It’s an itch
    that takes the fingers, twitch and spark
    that lights the dark and sings
    a wordless song that stings when sung.

  15. TrickBrown

    Do they have to be an odd number of lines, thus ending with a rhyme?

    Self-Referential

    Luc bat poetic form:
    A vietnamese norm written
    In rhyming lines. Smitten
    with syllables bitten in time
    counts of six or eight rhyme
    amounts. Rotating chime inside
    lines, as well as outside
    for those before denied such bliss.

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