My Diplomacy Poetry

I'm a programmer and analyst at my job, but I think that inside there is a poet trying to get out. Most of my efforts so far have been Diplomacy-related, for which Larry Peery is largely to blame. 8-) I started adding limericks to a Youngstown demo game I was in (as India) in Diplomacy World. I've become the Diplomatic Pouch's "Poet Laureate", and many of these have showed up in its issues.

My output so far consists of a large number of limericks, some haiku, a sonnet or two, and riffs on The Raven, The Night Before Christmas, and miscellaneous styles of my own.


Limericks are what got me started. They're meant to be light and silly, and these certainly are. 8-)
#1 - How to Win (December 1992, from the A-Z)
In Diplomacy to be a winner,
One must be a terrible sinner.
The teller of lies,
Grows to a frightening size,
While the virtuous only get thinner.
#2 - Mack Got the Knife (April 12, 2014)
A Diplomacy player named Mack
Wanted to make a pre-emptive attack.
But he had to depend
On a neighbouring "friend" -
What he got was a knife in the back.
#3 - The Angry German (April 12, 2014)
I got email from a desperate German
Who said "All my neighbours are vermin!
They all have the hots
For my beautiful dots
And they think that my damn name is Hermann!"
#4 - Constantinople (April 26, 2014)
A woman from Constantinople
Lost her favorite jewel: an opal.
It was found by Sam Eppy,
A priest who was peppy,
And the opal is now episcopal. (Spring, 1904)
#5 - New Delhi (Youngstown Dip SC) May 10, 2014
People complain that New Delhi
Is crowded and noisy and smelly.
And that wild baboons
Beating Japanese goons
Is all that they show on the telly.
#6 - Walter Buchanan May 17, 2014
One day our friend Walter Buchanan
Got shot from the mouth of a cannon.
He said as he flew
"There must be better ways to
Go visit my lovely friend Shannon."
#7 - Undead Diplomacy (October 19, 2014)
Undead Diplomacy's cool
Because of the following rule.
It says when you're stabbed,
And your SCs are grabbed,
You get to come back as a ghoul.
#8 - Diplomacy Games (October 20, 2014)
Each Diplomacy game is a tale
Of deceit and defeat and betrayal,
Where being too nice
Is considered a vice
And results in your exile to Wales.
#9 - Jim Burgess (October 23, 2014)
A wonderful guy is Jim Burgess,
But he does have some terrible urges.
Though he might be gabbing,
He's thinking of stabbing,
And soon all you're saying is curses.
#10 - Costaguana (October 26, 2014)
The venerable zine Costaguana
Is not about pricing iguanas.
If you were asked to play,
You would probably say:
"I wanna, I wanna, I wanna!"
#11 - The Abyssinian Prince (TAP) November 6, 2014
Nobody's opinion of TAP
Is that it's a huge pile of crap.
If you lifted a stack
Of all issues, your back
Would blow itself out with a snap.
#12 - Not a Waste of Time (November 8, 2014)
Diplomats say it's a crime
To call it the Eater of Time.
Time isn't wasted
If you're enemy's pasted
Into primorial slime.
#13 - Marseilles
There was a young lass in Marseilles
Whose guy wouldn't do as she'd say.
"You must support me in Spain
Or you'll feel the pain
Of a kick in the nuts every day!"
#14 - German Invasion
As the Germans were crossing the Rhine,
They said "We're just here for the wine.
We'll enter Burgundy
At twelve o'clock Sunday
And see you in Paris by nine."
#15 - Black Sea
The Black Sea is an oversized lake
Where Turkish and Russian fleets make
A battle each season
Without any reason
Except for some SCs to take.
#16 - France
A gentleman player of France
Couldn't get into his pants.
And when the seams ripped,
He said "I've been gypped!
This makes it much harder to dance!"
#17 - Kiel (Jan 14, 2015)
I don't see what's so great about Kiel.
It's less sexy than Jessica Biel.
But strategic location
In the German nation
Makes the SC most worthwhile to steal.
#18 - Munich (Jan 18, 2015)
What can I say about Munich?
It wasn't involved in Wars Punic.
But when Italians invade,
They're not there for the shade,
They claim all they want are new tunics.
#19 - Berlin (Jan 18, 2015)
If you want to be taking Berlin,
You don't need to be magic Merlin.
Just move in your army
And say something smarmy
And dodge what the German's hurlin'.
#20 - Larry Peery (Feb 6, 2015)
The Diplomacy God Larry Peery
Works for The Game 'til he's weary.
Everyone knows
That his output of prose
Keeps a game from getting too dreary.
#21 - Honour (February 7, 2015)
In Diplomacy it's no big deal
To lie and to cheat and to steal.
But a man without honour,
Like the family Donner,
Will wind up as somebody's meal.
#22 - Too Much of a Good Thing (February 7, 2015)
I'm getting The Look from my wife -
The prelude to marital strife.
"Too much playing That Game
Is causing me shame!
Why don't you go get a life!"
#23 - China (February 7, 2015)
To be a good player of China,
You really cannot be a whina.
Although it depends
On which neighbours are friends
And which ones will give you angina.
#24 - The Snatcher (February 10, 2015)
An odious man is The Snatcher
Who always is looking to catch yer.
He'll promise you lots
Then snatch all your dots
And then you'll be put out to pasture.
#25. Unfriendly Neighbours
Your neighbours will do what they can
To try to put you in the can.
They stab and they lie
And hope that you'll die
Before the brown stuff hits the fan.
#26 Diverting Attacks
Your neighbours are plotting against you
You know there is one thing you must do.
You must go out back
And plan the attack
Of their neighbours on them, not on you!
#27. Lady Plays Turkey (June 17, 2016)
A clever young lady played Turkey
With allies allergic to work-y.
To those lazy chumps,
She dealt out hard lumps
And chewed them all up like beef jerky.
#28. Leo Belgicus (July 16, 2016)
I drew a map shaped like a lion
That got the cartographers cryin'.
All the Dutchmen are nuts
About Belgians as butts
And a paw Luxembourg's occupying.

Diplomacy Board Limericks

The following limericks have been printed in Douglas Kent's zine Eternal Sunshine, starting in issue 134 in the game Wine Lips, in which I play as Austria. The objective was to produce one limerick per land region (and maybe some of the sea zones) by the end of the game. It started June 13, 2020 and finished March 21. 2021. To my knowledge, this is the only project like this in the Hobby!


Bohemia (June 28, 2020)
In Bohemia we find Prague City
Where people say things wise and witty.
But only a Dipper
Who's not feeling chipper
Would say that about this little ditty.
Budapest (June 27, 2020)
It's unfair to call Budapest.
He's nicer than most of the rest
Of Austria's neighbours
Who do it no favours
By making its player depressed.
#Galicia (January 31, 2021)
Galicia's a region of Spain,
And also is found near Ukraine.
They claim limericks
Are linguistic tricks
For reasons I cannot explain.
Trieste (July 26, 2020)
The beautiful town of Trieste
By climate and culture are blessed.
But people's fondness for wine
At quarter-past nine
Makes many a fight and arrest.
Tyrolia (July 26, 2020)
A curious contest in Tyrol
Is a real difficult pie roll.
If losers complain
They need time to train
The winner will say "Shut yer pie hole."
Vienna (February 7, 2021)
Vienna's the city of dreams
Where nothing there is as it seems.
It gave us "that" waltz,
That musical shmaltz,
Played so much it generates screams.


Clyde (October 4, 2020)
Glasgow is a city in Clyde,
Unloved by the world far and wide.
When picked up by cops,
And dumped at the docks,
They call it the Edinburgh Ride.
Edinburgh (March 24, 2021)
Edinburgh is a capital city,
Where Robert Burns wrote things very witty
Ault Reekie's its name,
Since smoke, to its shame,
Often hid how the city is pretty.
Liverpool (January 26, 2021)
The Beatles were from Liverpool
And music was their greatest tool
For promoting change
Over a wide range
Of social injustices cruel.
London (February 7, 2021)
Yes, London is known for its fog.
It's not good for taking a jog.
You can't see too far,
Or know where you are,
Watch out or you'll trip on your dog.
Wales (July 26, 2020)
They say in the country of Wales
There's a definite absence of whales.
It isn't a fluke
There isn't a fluke
And the sounds of their upset are wails.
Yorkshire (September 29, 2020)
Yorkshire is known for its Dales,
They say are more scenic than Wales.
The people of York
Are handy with forks,
And say that they're better than nails.


Brest (December 5, 2020)
Some immature players say Brest
Is featured on a woman's chest.
A convoy to Naples
Is one of the staples
Of these lame losers' weak jests.
Burgundy (August 16, 2020)
Burgundy borders the Rhine,
And it is known for its wine.
And on the occasion
Of German invasion,
Guzzling buys the French time.
Gascony (December 5, 2020)
In Gascony's city of Bordeaux,
You will find an impressive chateau
Where wine can be tasted
Until you are wasted
And under the table you lie low.
Marseilles (November, 2014)
There was a young lass in Marseilles
Whose guy wouldn't do as she'd say.
"You must support me in Spain
Or you'll feel the pain
Of a kick in the nuts every day!"
Paris (January 3, 2021)
Is Paris the City of Light,
Wherever you look there's a sight?
The Champs Élysées,
Oh, what can we say?
We all like to shop in the night.
Picardy (February 6, 2021)
Grapes grown on the Picardy coast
Are fancied by connoisseurs most
Often for flavour
They like to savour
While wishing the English were ghosts.


Berlin (June 13, 2020)
You need not be clever like Merlin
To trash-talk the city of Berlin.
It seldom is sunny,
The Germans talk funny,
And they won't take cash in pounds sterling.
Kiel (February 6, 2021)
The north German city of Kiel
Is really not such a big deal.
Though there's a canal
Within the locale
That really adds to its appeal.
Munich (Jan 18, 2015)
What can I say about Munich?
It wasn't involved in Wars Punic.
But when Italians invade,
They're not there for the shade,
They claim all they want are new tunics.
Ruhr (June 14, 2020)
As night starts to fall in the Ruhr,
The sky goes to blacker from bluer.
When armies pass through
They lose quite a few
To ladies with knives and allure.
Prussia (November 8, 2020)
In Prussia the city of Posen
In winter does tend to get frozen.
Some folks like to frolic
In places bucolic,
But that's not the place I'd have chosen.
Silesia (December 5, 2020)
Silesia's an important spot,
Despite its not having a dot.
It's time to move in
When you want Berlin,
According to tactics we're taught.


Apulia (July 26, 2020)
There was a young lady named Julia
Who came from the hills of Apulia.
Her eggs over easy
Make everyone queasy
Because their appearance will foolya.
Naples (March 21, 2021)
Naples is quite close to Pompeii,
Where Vesuvius once had its way.
When it blew its top,
It made a loud pop,
And blew all the people away.
Piedmont (September 7, 2020)
Piedmont a mountain of pies?
That's nothing but slander and lies!
But mountainside bakers,
Amazing pie makers,
Make it seem so to your eyes.
Rome (July 26, 2020)
A priest from the city of Rome
Whose bald head was shaped like a dome
Was given some art
With which he'd not part
Because it was shaped like a comb.
Tuscany (March 17, 2021)
In our legs we have the joints three:
The ankle, the hip, and the knee.
Italy ends with a toe,
And is leg-shaped, so,
Its main joint we call Tuscany.
Venice (February 15, 2021)
To cook deer in Italy's north,
To win first and not come in fourth,
You put some menace in
And call it Venice-in
But you'll be an outcast thenceforth.


Livonia (September 1, 2020)
Diplomacy puns are a crime,
Yes, even if placed in a rhyme.
Prepare to be blue
If you say that you
Livonia day at a time.
Moscow (September 7, 2020)
Moscow's the hardest of all.
It led to Napoleon's fall.
General Winter,
Death notice printer,
Will lead to invaders' recall.
#48. Sevastopol (February 15, 2021)
Sevastopol's no place for pity.
Sarcasm's used by the witty.
You got a sliver?
Crimea River!
It's a tough life in this city.
St. Petersburg (February 15, 2021)
In St. Petersburg, seat of the Tsars,
It's too easy to get behind bars.
One slip of the lip
And it's a short trip
To a prison more remote than Mars.
Ukraine (February 15, 2021)
There's one thing we know of Ukraine
That travelers find quite a pain.
Although it's not daily,
It rains ukuleles
Which is why they call it Ukraine.
Warsaw (June 2, 2020)
Our invasion of Poland was flawed:
You can't win a war with chutzpah.
We lost our brass band
When they got stuck and
Things went from badda to Warsaw.


Ankara (July 1, 2020)
From Ankara the Turkish First Fleet,
Will leave port today and will seek
Enemy Russians
To give concussions
Then will beat a hasty retreat.
Armenia (March 21, 2021)
In Armenia there is a man
Who transforms things whenever he can.
He had a Dodge Charger
That he wanted larger,
So he said "Presto! Yerevan!"
Constantinople (April 26, 2014)
A woman from Constantinople
Lost her favorite jewel: an opal.
It was found by Sam Eppy,
A priest who was peppy,
And the opal is now episcopal.
Smyrna (March 14, 2021)
Yes, Izmir used to be Smyrna
Lived in by ladies named Myrna...
This rhyme is so lame
I should be ashamed
And banish myself to Burma.
Syria (June 30, 2020)
In the small zone known as Syria,
Armies so seldom appear-ya.
The place is remote
To get to by boat,
And to the Turk this won't endear-ya.

Scandinavia and the Low Countries

Denmark (January 3, 2021)
In Denmark we find Copenhagen,
With treasures around to be taken.
But you won't find meat
At any retreat
Since they are exclusively vegan.
Finland (January 5, 2020)
In Finland, the city of Turku
Is a place where they really work you.
Working in Summer
Isn't a bummer
If long days don't make the work shirk you.
Norway (August 31, 2020)
Norway's at the top of the world,
With vistas that make your head whirl.
It borders St. Pete's
And leads to defeats
That can make the Russian's hair curl.
Sweden (December 5, 2020)
In Sweden the city of Stockholm
Is a really good place to walk home.
On one starry night
I saw a strange sight:
A teacher was taking her chalk home.
Belgium (August 16, 2020)
In Belgium the city of Brussels
Is known for its cons and its hustles.
The Mob Boss is Russell,
Has plenty of muscle,
And is known for sheep that he rustles.
Holland (March 21, 2021)
In Holland you'll soon find The Hague,
Though directions to get there are vague.
You'll find that the Dutch
Won't help you that much,
Until you start serving Lafroaig.

The Balkans and Adriatic

Albania (February 15, 2021)
An Albanian dinosaur
Needs a name that isn't a bore.
So Harold Munster,
The awful punster,
Dubs it Fred the Tiranasaur.
Bulgaria (September 9, 2020)
Plovdiv's the name of a town
That cannot be said with a frown.
It's known in the area
Of central Bulgaria
As a good place to put on a crown.
Greece (January 31, 2021)
The Greek people know that the key
To keep hair from being icky
Is coffee sipping
During a clipping
By folks in Thessaloniki.
Rumania (March 21, 2021)
Rumania leaves me depressed.
Their law system isn't the best.
Shoplifting a book
Will make you a crook,
And subject you to Bucharest.
Serbia (February 6, 2021)
In Serbia they rate their bells
By their sounds and not by their smells.
When a rating is made,
It's called the Belgrade.
It's a joke that nobody tells.
Adriatic Sea (February 14, 2021)
The Bora's a wind katabatic
That blows to the Sea Adriatic.
The roar and the howl
Bring weather most foul
And make us all hide in the attic.

Iberia, Africa, and Water

Portugal (January 26, 2021)
A Portuguese woman has done,
A stunt that's annoyed everyone.
She's made a soft roll
Whose name takes a toll
Because she has named it Lisbon.
Spain (July 1, 2020)
The province of Spain has two coasts,
The people who live there will boast.
This fact can cause slips
In the placement of ships
That make you look dumb as a post.
North Africa (January 3, 2021)
In North Africa we can find Algiers,
Where disrespect is handled with all jeers.
And it's hot and it's dry,
With no clouds in the sky:
What I'm thinking of drinking is all beers.
Tunis (February 15, 2021)
Tunis, on the Barbary Coast,
Has a harbour admired by most.
Carthage it once was,
And made lots of buzz,
Until Romans turned it to toast.
Black Sea (November 2014)
The Black Sea is an oversized lake
Where Turkish and Russian fleets make
A battle each season
Without any reason
Except for some SCs to take.
Helgoland Bight (February 15, 2021)
When you think of Helgoland Bight,
It's seldom in terms of a fight.
A small blob of water
Is no place for slaughter
Hostile forces: stay out of sight.


These aren't nearly as easy to write as one might think. They have to be short and sweet, but at the same time you have to find a way to sneak something profound into them. I try, but I'm sure you'll find better examples of the craft elsewhere. 8-)

Oh, poor Austria!
You have too many neighbours
And not enough friends.
It is hard to rule
The waves when they are full of
Other players' fleets.
Just because I'm France,
It does not pay to assume
That I will surrender.
Please give me a chance
To prove to my neighbours that
I have the Reich stuff.
I'm shaped like a boot.
So why do my neighbours want
To walk all over me?
Unlike your mother,
Your welfare is not a concern
of Mother Russia.
Yellow is pretty
When there are lots of pieces
All over the board.
(For the Quickly Crushed)
Coffee and a chair
For me until end of game?
I hate all of you.
A crushing defeat
Makes better conversation
Than a victory.
Your feeling of doom
When everyone looks away
Should not be ignored.

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