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Last updated: January 7, 2006

Light Verse -- Palindrome Poems:

This is the second palindrome page. Again, a palindrome is a word or group of words that reads exactly the same, letter for letter, whether read forwards or backwards. (Note: It's the letters that count, not punctuation marks or spaces.) Thus "Otto" and "Madam, I'm Adam" and "Able was I ere I saw Elba" are classic palindromes.

What follows are more of my attempts to write palindrome poems and witticisms. In nearly every case, the entire poem (not counting the title) is a palindrome. Sometimes (where so noted) the title is a separate palindrome. In a few cases (where so noted), not the poem itself, but each individual line of the poem is a palindrome.

I put my favorite ones in the first palindrome section. I like most of these, too. The third palindrome page contains the ones I feel are the weakest, but is worth a look (if you're interested in palindromes) for their ambition. Often they are weak because I worked hard to extend a palindrome into a 10 or 12 or 20 line poem. That's not so easy – try it.

Gangsta, Can You Do Tit-Willow?

No, it is opera, parodic.
I do rap, a re-position.

Gangsta Sour Grapes On Not Making The Hit Parade

"Rats! Parades suck cock!"
cussed a rap star.

Who Let Them Go Ashore?

Bats! nuts! -
pirates set a-rip
damn us, stun,

Did Brutus Have the Support of Rome?

"Et tu, Brute,
et urb ut te?"

[Translation: "You, too, Brutus, and the city with you?" Actually, Caesar is supposed to have said to Brutus, as Brutus and the other assassins stabbed him, "Et tu, Brute?" – "You, too, Brutus?"]

On The Use Of Diseased Whores To Infect Enemy

SEX OP MEGA-TARTS stratagem: Poxes!

How To Create A World

Brood...do orb.

Cain Wonders If, Killing Abel, He Killed Himself

Denials, denials! I: Mad role -
Vile! Bad! Evil!
I, Cain, am a MANIAC!
I lived.
Abel I've (Lord! Am I

Judas Prepares to Hang Himself

Sin if I live. Die soon.
Won (O!) gelt...sop! Apostle...
go now. Noose...I, devil I...Finis!

[Alternate version]

Sin if I live? Die soon...nil!
Lawyer gelt - sop, Apostle!
Grey wall...in noose...I, devil I...

[Note: "Gelt" is Yiddish for "gold" or money, in this case the 30 pieces of silver.]

Hitler's Ghost Is Amazed To Meet A Skinhead

"Hero? I? Vas 'oo der, Charlie?"

[Note: Hitler replies to skinhead's hero worship "Vas ‘oo der, Charlie", a Germanized take-off on the punch line of an old radio joke: "Was you dere, Charlie?" I guess the Hitler in this poem, having been there and done that, is no longer impressed by the supposed glory of it all.]

Your Poet Boasts A Bit
(Garbage - e.g., a Brag)

O needle keen am I,
Man (eek!)...
El Deeno!

What James Cagney Does Best

Slaps pals.

The Cat

Lap pal.

Billionaires Take Candy From Baby
(NOT, Nob, Ala Bon Ton!)

Snob nobs nosh -
Ah! -
son's bonbons.

The South Rises To Avenge Lee's Defeat

Revenge Bob!
O Beg

Was Peck Miscast in Moby Dick?

Ahab? Revenger? -
Greg!? Never!
Ba! HA!

Captain Ahab Converts And Gives Up Vengeance

Dog was I -
AHAB was I
ere I saw Bahai,
saw God!

The Dona Exults Over The NRA Official She Just Shot
(Darn! NRA'd!)

Oh who gab, Senor,
of snug guns for one's bag -
oh who?

Agatha Christie Plots

A Hercules, a case, lucre...HA!

The Culprit Flees to Brazil

To Rio, Poirot!

[Note: The two poems above refer to Hercules Poirot, one of Agatha Christie's sleuths. Having said that, I am suddenly troubled – is he "Hercules" or "Hercule"? One letter off and there goes the palindrome. Bah! In MY poems, he's Hercules.]

Why I Love Old-Fashioned War

Risk! Cask! combat!
Stab! Mock! Sack! Sir.

Hard Cheese

O gas, pass!

[Note: The speaker has gas (and wishes it would pass – that is, wants to fart) after eating sapsago, a hard Swiss cheese.]

Pot Washer's Job Description

Spots on pan, on pots' tops.
Post: Sops pot's top -

The Joy Of Martyring

Ooh! A yelp, Martyr?
Every trample - YAHOO!

[Note: A sadist's viewpoint.]

How To Keep The Students Awake


Don't Fall Asleep in Church, Dad!

Sopor, Pa? -- lame! Malapropos!

[Note: "Sopor": Deep sleep, stupor.]

On Reading My Poems to a Friend

Sopor, pal, ami --

Is This Job Taken?

No, it is open - one position.

Playboy Weds Child

Fiance va
avec naif.

Was It Nox, Roman Goddess of Night (Identified With
Greek Nyx), Made Nixon Seem Noxious, Or Was It
The Oxlike Heavy Thudding Dullness Of His Image?

Nox in Nixon a toxin?
Nix! O tan ox
in Nixon.

The General Answers The
Stripper Who Asked If He Was
Glad To See Her

R.E. Lee:
"Pat I no banana,

Proper English Governess Explains Sex to Young Rani

"A lunacy, Rani -
rude mot I penis name -
man-sin epitomed!
Urinary canula!"

A Druid Prays To The Spirit In A Tree To Save Him From Evil

O Temple, Help me -
Tree! Seer-Temple! -
Help me to live.

Hunter Tells His Mom What He Wants In Life

freedom, Ma!

Disgruntled Potato Farmer Leaves His Mucky Idaho Farm

A tater!
I'm (Sin I?) flat tuber'd up so!
O had I a ham of Omaha!
Idaho, O spud rebuttal -
Mire, tata!

Reporter in Serejevo - His Hotel Shelled -
Finds His Aspirin And Notes

Guns set on Hotel -
battlefield. Dumb muddle, I felt.
Tablet? Oh.
Notes? Snug.

Correspondent to Editor: Brass are Stonewalling,
I'm Censored, Battle Was Disaster. Expose them

Me? Parrot I Denials...sigh!
GI hoot?
Saw battlefield - dumb muddle!
I felt tab was too high -
GIs slain.
Editor, RAP 'em!

[Note: "Parrot I denials" is bad palindrome syntax for "Shall I parrot denials?" – that is, the Pentagon denials of a lost battle. This was no "GI hoot", he says (no party or bash).]

Bold Tempermental Toscanini Rehearses For LIVE Radio
Performance - Is Furious When A Horn Enters Late And Off-key,
Curses Radio, Then Gives The Correct Key

I'm I. Mega-vast radio void...
Arturo Toscanini - live! So
I dare radio's evil..."In! IN!
a C, sot!" O rut radio! Void
Art, savage! "Mi mi..."

Cuban Shrink Chews Bubble Gum (Having Sworn Off Cigars) And
Ponders His Castro Fixation

Is it Fidel's?
I'm I, mug, puff up;
I wonder...Castro's? Si,
Ho! Tragic! -
O genital Latin ego!
Cigar -
to his sort sacred.
Now I puff up gum,
I, misled if 'tis I.

Napalmy Days

One defoliated man
(O Help! Murder! Red rumple - Ho!) -
NAM, detail of.
Eden? O!

Oppenheimer on Atomic Bombs

Alone, Enola emits POP!
Pop's not a gem -
fired NOW! - utter effusion -
I suffer - et tu? - wonder:
If megatons pop, pops time? Alone,

Soldier's Complaint

Too long no loot.

How Your Caress Affects Me, Love

Tap a tip - PIT-A-PAT!

Her Response When Tired Of Hearing
That Her Breasts Are White Doves,
Ripe Peaches, silken pillows, etc:

Oh, PAT 'em!

Maestro Tells Sidney How To Keep A Prima Donna Happy

DESSERT! Sidney - Diva's avid yen,

Cloning Designer Genes

Dior DNA...Android!

[Note: The fashion models certainly look like aliens.]

The Yogi Doll

"...has motion?"
"No - it OMs."

Mrs. Teitlebaum Visits Her Son's Ashram

Yoga? You? Oy!
On Guru rug? No! You?
Oy! A goy!

Why Are You Gentiles So Trim?

We jog, O Jew.

Dad Finds Son a Rake and Coke-head

Liar! Flirt! Son - nostril-frail!

[Note: Coke-heads get a lot of nose bleeds and other nose frailties.]

Instruction to Hit Man

Knife fink.

The Astronomer Tries to Jump-Start his Muse

Start, Urania!...
In a rut?

Evita Takes Pride In Her Reputation
(Peron On Rep)

Hey! One me, sui generis - EVITA!
Genera are negative? - siren, e.g.? -
I USE men - O yeh!

Egos on the Loose

Situation: No "I" taut is.

How to Perform War And Peace

Emote tome.

Slipping Up

An Anabasis is a banana?

[Note: "Anabasis" means "to go up" and refers to the march of Greek forces to defeat the Persians. Since one may slip up on a banana, this Palindrome almost makes sense.]

Keeping Anglican Dad Calm

"An Anabaptist!"
"Sit, Pa.

How The Drunk Driver Walks A Straight Line

Leery reel.

Peeping Tom:

Poon Snoop.

Central American Revolutionary Wakes From Day Dream

I did rob,
mob abolish -
Oh si! -
lob a bomb!...
or did I?

The French Yogi Introduces Himself to Descartes

Moi? I OM.

Fat Character Actor Erases A Video In Disgust

O hoot! Suet! Ah, dewlaps!
Rats! On ERASE!
Not a few tubs are macho, oh cameras,
but we fat ones are no stars, pal -
we'd hate us too! Ho!

Adolescent Defends Calling His Teacher An Ass
In That It's Not A Bad Word, Words Don't Kill
And He Has A Right To His Own Voice

Ma, is "ass" a sin?
Is sass an assassin?
I sass as I am!

Paul Tells Christ The Latest:
Peter Goes To Rome. The Byword Is
Ignore The Lukewarm, Push JOY

YO! Jesus:
Send I PETER on gig;
ignore tepidness,
use joy!

Prisoner's Destiny

Noose, soon.

Time to the Man on Death Row
Waiting for his Request for Pardon
to be Refused

Noes' eon

[Note: "Noes'" Looks odd, but is simply the plural possessive of "no". One no, several noes. The condemned man may receive one no after another.]

The Time it Takes to Figure Things Out by Intellect Alone

Noeisis' eon.

[Note: "Noesis" means "comprehension by operation of the intellect alone.]

Spinster, Losing Her Queen, Playing Chess
With Her Gigolo, Makes A Suggestion:

Maid loses. Oh pro,
mate me!
old I am.

Peiping Tom Enjoys Himself

Peep - O, shade - not!
Tub...nude, red, unbuttoned -

A Gypsy (Rom) Who Has Traveled Alone Too Long
Recalls Coming Upon A Dairy, Cheese, Cows And A
Dairy Maid...Wishes For Many More Such Maids

One Rom - On!
Had I a maid!
An edam I saw, two cow, one dairy maid -
Ah! Had I a myriad - Enow!
O cow, 'twas I made Nadia
maid - ah! - no more, no.

Description Of Lover

Passion? No - is sap!

What's That Red Star Each Evening?

Red? A Venus,
Ma of foam,
sun evader.

[Note: "Ma of foam" – Venus pictured rising from the foaming sea to step from a shell. "Sun evader" since she's the evening star (though also morning star, unfortunately for my poem.)]

When The Eton-Harrow Dart Games Get Out of Hand

Eton foeman I straddle!
I wield darts - I,
name of note!

[Note: This is a mock-epic palindrome – imitates the Iliad, where hero straddles foeman and, before and during battle, brags about his fierce and noble name.]

Discovering Naked Ned, Kids Cover Him With Mud

LOOK! Pudendum!
Mud Ned up! KOOL!


Navigation on radar? No no! I tag Ivan.

[Note: Radar pings will alert enemy sub.]

Including The Ocean's Song

Mum! Level...(deep song)...No speed!
Radar ON, Navigation? No! I tag Ivan -
NO RADAR!...(deep song)...No speed...

And In An Earlier Submarine War - U.S.
Destroyer Commander Plans To Sink Jap Sub:

Ping at 'em...me tag nip!

Mr. Jefferson, Are You Happy With The
Articles Of Confederation?

No - I TUT!
It's no Constitution!

Justice Rehnquist, Are You Satisfied With
Forced Integration?

No! I TUT its
bus substitution!

[Note: Many conservatives objected to forced busing.]

How Men Court

Meet a mate,
net a Ma:

How Women Court

I meet; I mate;
pet am I;
teem I.

Justification To An IRS Auditor

Evasion? No - I save.

Faulkner Tells His Editor He Now Considers
His Use Of Italics Self-Indulgent

O get set, editor -
A revelation:
A rot I detest - Ego!

Student's Ponderings As He Falls Asleep
Over His Notes During A Lecture On
Figures Of Speech:

O me! Metonymy...note my...
(revery)...metonymy! Note...memo...

Flood's Over. Sacrifice the Ram? Noah - No!

Ha! On Mt. Ararat mar a ram? Tar a rat, M. Noah!

He Wanted To Be President

I? Made VEEP? Peeved am I.

Scrooge, Feeling Sexual Lust, Questions His Identity

Oh Whores! I'm sane - been in rut! -
as saturnine Eben? as miser?
Oh who?

[Note: "Eben" – short for Ebenezer.]

Will it Help my Cause to Quote the Newspapers?

Cite media? Nay! An aid emetic!

What Stinks?


She Rejects Her Mother-in-law's "Help"

A help, Ma? No, it is opposition ample - HA!

When Do I Get the Girl in the Car Ad?

O Honda Civic ad...
no honey!

Hamlet to Gertrude

I, Ma, no saga, gape,
I'd adore, hymn my hero Dad
in awe: Pa!
(Gaga son am I.)

Treacherous Uncle

Pari passu, I, dual Claudius,
sap I rap.

Callow, But Dangerous

Laertes, Pup!...upset real.

[Note: The three preceding palindromes all concern Hamlet. The last describes Laertes, an impulsive young man – a pup, but dangerous and with real reason for his upset with Hamlet. The second says "Pari passu" (meaning "at the same time") because Hamlet stabs Claudius while dueling with Laertes. Claudius is the sap he "raps". In the first of these, Hamlet tells his mother, Gertrude, that his life is no glorious sag. He's gaping, wan with despair, at the death of the Dad he worships.]

Mugger Proudly Confesses

Hey! Did nail I victim?
Smit civilian?

Aeneas Struts Before His Men, Singing Of Arms And The Man

O did I do Dido? I, Dido's Aeneas? -
AENEAS! O did I! O
Dido did I do!

[Note: Virgil's epic, the "Aeneid", which includes the story of Dido and Aeneas, begins "Of arms and the man I sing".]

Queen Gets Too Involved With Trojan Leader

Did Dido on Boss Aeneas
(Troy orts, Aeneas - S.O.B., no?)
OD? Id did.

[Note: Aeneas, leading his band of Trojans escaping from fallen Troy (Troy "orts" or leftovers), spends some time in Carthage, where he seduces the queen, Dido, sating her Id. When he leaves, Dido kills herself. So Aeneas is a bit of an S.O.B. -- one on whom Dido ODed.]

Gay Rapist's MO

Male-raper, priapic,
I pair,
prepare lam.

One-Eyed Man Overwhelmed by Garbo's Glance

O, no brags!
Simple honeyed eyes
eye --
NO! help!
Miss Garbo! No!

[Note: No brags, because the speaker – the one-eyed man – is modest and doesn't consider himself attractive. Garbo's attention was simply caught by his one remaining eye.]

Young Man Begs Mom To Stop Him
From Violating Curfew In His Lust

Star! Manet-lit nude!
O grab me, ma! I am embargoed
until ten a.m.

Overworked Dishwasher Snaps

Pans, pots (O! Ten! O! A ton!)...hose dish....
Saw I fine vessel tops - spotless? Even if I
wash sides...Oh not a one! To stop...

[Note: This almost makes sense: He's an obsessive pot washer. He's got a lot of pots and pans to wash. He sees the vessel tops, but none are spotless. He works on them some more, including their sides, but still, not a one is spotless. He thinks, if only I could stop ("To stop..."), then snaps.]

Some Pious Folk Think Radio Is Satan's Tool

Oh sin avoid! A radio!

Ridiculing The Notion That A Conspiracy Existed
To Hide The "Fact" That Bacon Was Shakespeare

La! Bacon bard? Pardi! Rats!
O my ASS! Essay: Most arid rap -
DRAB! No cabal!

[Notes: "Pardi" means "By God!" The point is, that it's hard to see Bacon as having written the works of Shakespeare, since his known essays are so dry ("arid rap"). "No cabal" refers to and rejects the theory that a vast conspiracy (cabal) hid Shakespeare's "true" identity (as Bacon) from us. That's the way the palindrome palavered.]

Isis & Osiris on Realizing That They
Are Brother & Sister, Not Just Spouses

Isis: "Sis?
O Sir, I sob!"
Osiris: O Sis!
Si! Si!

Why Weep So, Isis?"

Sir, I sob "Osiris!"

America's Dream

E'er free!

Eunuch Asks, is the Sinecure Already Filled?

No, it is open, if a sinepenis -
a fine position.

[Note: Coined word, a play on "sinecure" – a sinepenis being one without a penis, like, sometimes, a Eunuch. Actually this poem is marred by fact: Usually a eunuch has a penis, just no balls. However, I have it on the authority of the Arabian Nights that a "clean eunuch" lacks all of these.]

Working on the Roman Railroad

Nail a tie, Italian.

Feminist View Of Bobbitt's Fate

Go, dog!
Elan adrenal! Lewd mirth's art:
Goddesses bob obsessed dog -
trash trim'd well,
a nerd, anal ego, dog!

Woodrow Wilson Wanted Words For Weapons,
But With World War, Woodrow Would Row!

Woodrow's word...
Woodrow! SWORD!...
O! OW!

[Note: "Row" in the sense of have a row, a scuffle. Wilson campaigned as a "peace" candidate, promised to keep the U.S. out of World War I, to handle things with words (diplomacy), but, of course, he took the U.S. into the war.]

Bachelor's brief Delight

He peels red underpants: Eros -
Eros RISEN! O Gosh...AH!!...
So? Gone, Sir...
Sore. So? Rest, nap (red, nuder),
sleep, eh?

A Gigolo Contemplates His Role In Life

Solo gig: Lay - O! -
lewd, age-mad maid...
A lad I am, Dame...
We loyal gigolos!

Mid-Sex, The Tenor Calls His Spine A Whore
Because It Goes Out On Him. He Doubts His Virility

In rut...O tart!
Ail I or castrato turn I?

[Note: "Tart" in the sense, "whore".]

With a Sore Testicle, In a Hurry to Jerk Off
But Taking Forever, He's Got the...

Swollen-nut-lap-race-carpal-tunnel lows.

Hester Prynne Stands In The Sun, Wishing
She'd Avoided Sex With The Minister

It is I - Oh! - who's, alas, unmade!
I fret sin. I'm...Sun! Oh crimson I am!
Red A vexes bosom! O sob!
Sex evader...Ma, I?
No smirch on us, Minister??
Fie! Damn us!
Alas! Oh who is it?

[Note: Supposedly giving us Hester's thoughts as she stands there – as a punishment – displaying her scarlet A (for Adultery) to her Puritan fellow citizens in Hawthornes "The Scarlet Letter". Actually, in the book she doesn't much regret her passion. Here she's ashamed. It's not my fault -- the demands of palindrome did it. When she thinks "Sex evader...ma I?", she's puzzled that someone who resisted sex as much as she did should now be a mother.]

Lab Tech Diagnoses Monkey Tissue

A lobe...not sere, but...
tsetse? No. Bones? Test tube...
Reston Ebola!

[Note: I live in Reston, VA. And monkeys that escaped from a facility near here years ago were said to be carriers of the Ebola virus.]

Bartender, While telling His Apprentice How To Polish
Glasses, Describes A Regular Customer

"Nigerian oil. Liberal?
Anal are billionaire -
gin, bad tips."

Italian Poet, Bored With Unhappy Romance, Says Let The Po
River Shed Tears For Love, Dear, While We Elope To Rome

Amore! Po, let Italia
wail at it!
Elope - Roma!

Tanning Salon Patron Goes Through Hell (And Can't Bear
To Be Touched) For Vanity's Sake

Hot fad:
Flesh a ham-raw red do flare -
of damnation?
NO - I tan, mad fool, eral fodder -

Short Form: Popular Torture Chamber

Damnation? No, I tan...mad!

Too Long in the Sun

Rub? NO!"
On red nude:
Tardy, he'd dehydrated under noon burn --

If Not For A Man And A Plan...

Age? Iron.
Sad - no canal;

[Note: Title refers to classic palindrome: "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!" (See variations on it, below.) My poem says, what if there were no man nor plan, so no canal in Panama, just anacondas and Noriega.]

High Air Fares

Man! A plane venal: PanAm.

Sodomist Finds Paradise on Isthmus

A man, a plan, a clan, anal canal: Panama!

The Excitement Cloys

A man, a plan, a clan, a banal canal: Panama.

Eddie Murphy Addresses George Burns' Ghost

I redo "O God!" to rob a hero, George.
"NEGRO EGO REHAB" -- O Rot! Do-gooder I?

Eddie Murphy Addresses George Burns' Ghost

I redo "O God!" to grab a hero, George.
"NEGRO EGO REHAB" -- argot!
Do-gooder I?

Eddie Murphy Addresses George Burns' Ghost

I redo "O God!", grab a hero, George.
Do-gooder I?

[Note: Three versions, same theme, the idea being that Eddie Murphy is slated to remake the George Burns comedy, "O God!" in which George starred as God, so as to make Black people feel good about themselves (Negro Ego Rehab). In the second version Murphy rejects this idea as cant (argot). In the third, he is simply disgusted by it (arg!). I wrote these before Hollywood realized that Morgan Freeman, another Black actor, is God.]

Disgusted Preacher Rants About Yokels Who Peek
At Topless Dancer Being Helped Into Her Outfit

Era's live art? Lust!
O Idiots essay ("oh!") a peek:
"See!" Peep!
Tulsa dame, inept fad!
"Pasties...Oh, tight!
Do garb on...Spot on!"
Peep! Peep!
Obese bodega-red nude,
kansas-naked, underaged -
obese Bopeep!
"No tops! No bra! GOD!!!"
Th' git! Hose it, sap! Daft, penie-mad! A slut!
Peepees keep!
Ahoy, asses:
To idiots, ultra evils are.

The Effect of Cow-Eyes Upon Cod-Pieces

Deli orbs dociled -
Deli cods broiled!

[Note: That is, the gentle (docile) cow eyes heat up the cod-pieces, which, in olden days, were what men tucked their genitals into.]

A Vulture Curses - A Parasol Obscures His Prey

"Rot! Parasol be up!" -
So, at Taos Pueblos, a raptor.

Edna Offers Emphysemic Spouse Oxygen & Pills. He Responds:

Air? Oh P U, Edna! Medicine? -
Deep orgy! Revel! Every grope
Edenic! I demand EUPHORIA!

Herb (Rue) Recommended to Medicate Venereal Sore

Sore? Eureka! Take rue, Eros.

Tired of Mockery, Couch Potato Loses Weight

"Hey, hot-tub butt! Oh YEH!"
Mirth - HATE idiot-tube butt! O, I diet...Ahh - trim!

[Note: Each line is a separate palindrome. Line one is the mockery. In line 2, the couch potato reacts to the mockers' mirth, says he hates his idiot-tube butt (that is, a fat ass from watching TV all day.]

Seeing How Many Have Died Because Of Paris'
Infatuation, Diomedes Hates Trojan Women

O he, Paris, lived for 'em.
May I not! O, I, Diomedes,
abased 'em...O idiot - on I
yammer of devils I rape - ho!

Eely Proteus Escapes Menelaus And Taunts Him

Hey, Menelaus - unusual enemy, Menelaus -
unusual enemy, eh?

[Note: Menelaus wrestles with shape-changing Proteus in Homer's "Odyssey".]

Dead Iphigenia Speaks In A Vision To Clytemnestra

I was no belle -
hot set Agamemnon on me, Ma -
Gates to hell, ebon, saw I...

[Note: Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia, to win favor for his army in the war against Troy.]

A Classical Drama

La! It's Electra - art celestial!

Orestes, Free Of Furies, Goes Off Quietly, Alone

At Attica, tacit Orestes -
no onsets erotic; a tacit
ta ta.

[Note: After Orestes kills his mother and her lover (to avenge their killing of his father, Agamemnon), the Furies are supposed to hound him for his act, but because of his reasons, he is spared.].