The luc bat is a poetry form of Vietnamese origin. Luc-bat means “six-eight”, in that the poem consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables. In this poem the rhyme scheme presents itself at the end of every eight-syllable line and rhymes on the sixth syllable of both of the next two lines.

Here’s how the first few lines of luc-bat poems appear in rhyme:


In an example from 2010:


Against the muted sky
shades of gray fill my eye and show
all that I need to know.
The lesson makes me grow surer
that all I ask from her
are thoughts that are as pure as she,
and all she asks from me
is the wisdom to see her soul.
Oh, learned one, control
every step towards the goal I seek,
for I am truly meek,
and I pray for this weak moment
to show me I am bent
on becoming the gent whose heart,
although miles apart,
can offer just the start it needs.
It has planted the seeds
that will grow past the weeds and fly
against the muted sky.

© Walt Wojtanik 2010




6/8 BEAT

It started with a beat.
The rhythm moved your feet and you
found yourself lost. It’s true,
with the first “Love Me Do” it seemed
that no one could have dreamed
of four who would have teamed on stage
to perpetrate this rage,
turn a historic page; music,
melodies and lyrics to give
words by which we could live above
all else, words laced with love
and all we need is love, for sure.

(C) Copyright Walter J Wojtanik – 2014


I was so taken by this poem by Sharon, that I rushed to include it for the Sunday prompt. Upon re-reading it, I realized it was Sharon’s example for the Luc-Bat form. Sharon, I apologize for my error. I will include the poem here as it should have been.

(for Farley, my wolf)

You amble now so slow
and I can see you grow old ‘fore
my eyes, wolf I adore
Moving carefully, you’re on ice
snow’s bad but still quite nice,
soft should a sacrifice be that
last step which lays you flat
Frail, a misstep, a fall splat down
break a bone, oh dear hound
I fear to see your mound, your grave

I fear I know I won’t be brave…

(C) Copyright Sharon Ingraham – 2014

98 thoughts on “INFORM POETS – LUC-BAT


    This luc-bat sure is tough:
    it makes my mind feel rough and flat
    and puts it on the mat;
    my muse, like old dried scat, is through
    and leaves, without ado,
    and leaves me feeling blue as ice,
    for my words won’t suffice
    unless I’m feeling nice and warm
    and my lines are in form.
    But no, they ain’t the norm no more;
    instead, they’re worn and sore:
    syllables to deplore and luff.
    This luc-bat sure is tough.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

    • No worries Walt…I find the oriental forms (I guess that’s what they could be called, yes?) the most challenging of any so have been messing around with the Luc Bat since you first suggested it and come up with several, none that have really made me super happpy but here’s another try…

      BAD BOYS

      Oh the lure of bad boys
      with their tattoos man-toys and risk
      and you their odalisque
      Ride their hogs as you whisk away
      Leather jackets, their forte
      Once addicted, you may just find
      Bad boys will own your mind
      You’ll leave all else behind, you will
      To live this life, you’d kill
      Your moral compass stilled and gone
      No true north to lean on…
      Oh the lure of bad boys.

    • Walt, I’ve been looking (as always) for a place to comment on your work…both of your examples are wonderful. I especially like “Against the Muted Sky” … by using the high-lighted words, you’ve really shown well how to write this form and it’s an superb example of how a lengthier version can be done by someone masterful. Very fine.

  2. Winter Has Outstayed Her Welcome

    Mounds, mounds of downy white
    upon my world a blight, frozen
    condition unchosen
    longing for ambrosian season.
    Amidst winter’s treason
    I lose all sane reason that spring
    will splash warm hues and bring
    relief from winter’s sting of cold.


    Let me first of all say
    how grateful I am to meet you.
    Hello. How do you do?
    It’s not often one gets to know
    someone who’s a real pro
    at writing poems that rhyme so well
    and may I add, that sell.
    I have read all your collections,
    chock-full of reflections,
    brimming with vivid metaphors,
    books I paid plenty for,
    but worth every dollar spent.
    Your poems are heaven-sent!
    You know just how to turn a phrase,
    like magic, make pun plays.
    What an honor to shake your hand,
    laureate of the land!
    I will accept what you advise:

    “Write daily and grow wise
    To the fine art of poetry.”

    Sir, you have made my day!


  4. Cooked Goose

    The large Canada goose
    runs wildly on the loose, head down,
    quickly covering ground. I run.
    My hair becomes undone. “Hiss,hiss!”
    The goose makes noise like this. I scream.
    And leap just like a dream, but land
    in a place so unplanned, the pond.
    Of mud I am not fond. I sink.
    My goose is cooked, I think.

  5. Walt – you inspired me (during this wee break from studying!) 😀


    He went to the concert
    and bought the band’s t-shirt, and then,
    he waited with such yen
    to see ‘his’ band again. But first,
    the warm-up band – they burst
    upon the stage. (He cursed.) But they
    were cool, as he would say.
    “I like some songs they play.” He knew
    he’d buy their t-shirt too.


  6. Have I Told You Lately?
    (Taken from Rod Stewart’s song, of course)

    Have I told you lately
    That I love you? Lately, have I
    Told you that you are my
    Always, that you are my one?
    Have I told you what you’ve done
    For my heart – brought the sun back to
    My life? Have I told you
    That you and I, we two, can’t fail?

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2014

  7. Salute

    Freedom is never free
    They sacrificed for me and you
    Did what they had to do
    The volunteers; the few, the brave
    The patriots that gave
    Our freedoms fore to save for all
    They answered freedom’s call
    They fought and some gave all they had

    © 2014 Earl Parsons


    Waves pound against his boat.
    The need to stay afloat is strong,
    well aware his swan song
    could be sung before long and be
    shared with a callous sea.
    He knows he cannot flee or save
    this seafarer so brave
    from the watery grave that waits.
    Yet, still he contemplates
    how to deny the fates that clutch
    his soul. With Neptune’s touch,
    the spirit loses much, and breath
    succumbs to looming death.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  9. Pingback: Rough Waters | Words With Sooze

  10. Simple Things Bring Joy

    Between the winter storms
    the sun dances, performs – gives joy
    like a first kiss, a boy
    or a shiny new toy – a smile
    as thoughts take flight in style
    with little or no guile, dreams fly!
    My head will be held high
    as the sun says goodbye, wave now
    un-wrinkle your brow,
    auf wiedersehen, ciao, farewell!

  11. Walt–all we need is love 🙂 And I love your Beatles poem, eight days a week…Sharon, I completely relate to that fear–we had a beautiful black husky mix who looked very wolf-like and was really bonded to me. He has passed, and left wonderful memories/stories for our family that we love to retell and keep him alive in our hearts.

  12. Only
    (a luc-bat)

    She’s always done her best.
    Different from the rest—her needs,
    she even supersedes,
    to follow all the creeds and codes.
    The weight which overloads,
    pressure like that erodes so much.
    To place the final touch,
    there is no other crutch—alone.

    Ellen Evans – Copyright (c) 2014
    a “luc-bat” poem for PB 2.19.24

  13. Kudos to Walt and Sharon. I found this form infuriating.

    Of Films and Fans

    Old films in black and white
    had endings so pure, right, and just.
    Filmgoers could feel trust.
    Evil fell as it must, good won
    out, at times, with a gun,
    though villains were more fun on screen.
    Endings, often obscene
    turn viewer’s faces green these days.
    Perhaps it’s just a trend.
    If only they would end, ‘All’s well.”


    Because I could not stop
    in Amherst on my shopping trip,
    I missed a chance to slip
    through Emily’s faux ship of fate;
    I realized, too late,
    that she was my soulmate of pen
    although beyond my ken.
    I cursed the road that wended by
    the patch of land and sky
    where I could rest and vie with her
    beneath some lonely fir;
    where I might grasp a stirring line
    her mind might send to mine:
    a jewel with a shining top.
    But no, I could not stop.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

  15. William, you sly dog…because you could not stop for death…no, for the belle of Amherst, ED, methinks; how cleverly you have captured her style here without aping it utterly. I am sure she would be delighted with your commitment to this form while remaining true to your admiration for her. A really superb luc bat, in my view.

    • Thank you, Sharon. There’s some basis for this piece; I drive past Amherst a lot, on the Mass Pike, but have yet to stop there.

      • Have you had an opportunity to see “The Belle of Amherst”? – Julie Harris’s one woman tour-de-force play of the great Emily Dickinson…I think it’s available on YouTube even now, but if not, certainly on PBS quite regularly and also likely on Netflix and the like…I studied her for the first time during ModPo last fall (free on-line course out of Univ of Penn which I highly recommend and will be taking again this Sept….through “Coursera”) and am a confirmed lover of this poet! Sorry to go off on such a tangent…as you can probably tell, I was moved by your poem…

        • Thanks for that tip. I was not aware of Harris’s performance. Emily is one of my four or five favorite poets, and the most intriguing.

  16. Seven Gales of Rampant Wind

    Seven gales winding sweep
    Down the valley who weeps in pain
    Pets softly coats of sheep
    While holding rhythm neat and trained
    Onward march it shall reap
    Silence of meadow’s sleep refrain
    Prancing hill low and steep
    Struggling it’s joys to keep contained

    Risen with eagle’s soar
    Seven wings o’er earths core escape
    Seven gales desire more
    Than rampant earthly chores to drape
    Contemplate run apace
    Rummaging to find grace to mend
    Hunting to know their place
    With aim without a chase of wind

  17. An attempt—
    She enters with her heart
    folded neatly in parts of red
    smelling of jasmine threads
    as the whole dark world sheds sharp stings
    She stumbles as she swings
    How does a wounded wing so dear
    run, like a jungle deer?
    And yet, her wobbly fear and brow
    dares to dream, somehow—-

  18. I’ve “played” with this enough . . . Inspired by one of my most favorite opening from a book
    (“Bitter February, within and without,” from Bolt by Dick Francis) and Ralph Waite’s death . . .

    Bitter February
    Within, strands of mem’ry dangle
    Frayed cords touch and tangle
    Plus and minus wrangle to shock
    Dreams, words, friends, may mock
    Pounding soul against rock to break
    Chips fall away and ache.
    Love called my heart awake, then left
    Ugly truth caused the theft.
    Hope hides and I’m bereft, tears shed
    And now Ralph Waite is dead.

      • That’s it. February/March are the “anniversary” months, from My Mom’s birthday on Feb. 12, her death on Feb. 22, my daughter’s death on March 13 and birthday on March 16. so those words describe it well. I’m not always this cold and hurting. I appreciate your comments, William. A huge time commitment on your part.

    • Good use of the form and of both of your inspirations…I’d forgotten how poetic Dick Francis’s writing could be, it was often so spare. Nicely done Darlene.

      • Seingraham, Thanks. Again. Dick Francis was long my favorite author, and it had little to do with his horseracing background.

  19. I love this form, but it’s like knitting for me. I don’t know where or when to stop and soon I have the world’s longest headband.


    What squall will storm the beach,
    fling sand, create a breach in faith?
    Ephemera or wraith,
    rising in gusty scathing tones
    transparent as the bones
    of ancient antiphons and psalms
    let hope smooth healing balms,
    pressing of palms to palms in prayer.
    No need to seek repair
    for what is lying there, long dead.
    A loving word unsaid
    becomes a squall instead, a storm
    of consciousness we form,
    believing thoughts, lukewarm at best,
    displace non-deeds. No rest
    comes to us now unless we take
    up arms, speak true, awake
    the notion that words make beachheads.


    The nuns were there to teach
    but often did not reach my brain,
    and Latin was my bane:
    I simply could not train my mind
    to utter any form or kind
    of words that spelled declining doom
    and ended with ah-ooom.
    But Sister’s smile would loom above
    my desk, her small white dove
    wings fluttering with love and grace;
    habitually, her face
    would brighten up that place. I think
    I loved her; every blink
    that issued from her crinckled eyes
    made Latin but a guise
    for staring in surprise as she
    made sense of it for me.
    She never had to be a screech
    but she was there to teach.

    © copyright 2014, William Preston

  21. I didn’t actually get the form right the first times, so here’s a second attempt.


    At times I’m in a rush
    and out my words will gush so fast,
    but when the surge is past,
    I look and o alas, the form
    did not come out the norm.
    And then my brain will storm anew,
    so this is what I do.
    Though ideas are few, I try
    to set my ideals high,
    and out the words will fly again.
    Okay, it’s fine so then
    I will end the poem when it’s done.

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