To An Odd Meaning, Get Flip-Flop Words

Green-Eyed Girl

Hanging by her knees

and eating caramel apples.

Oh, her bright green eyes!

Haiku are some of my favorite forms of poetry.

Some people don’t like the restriction of the meter, which is five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five again in the third, for those of you who don’t know or remember. (For those of you who don’t care, you don’t have to.) The above poem doesn’t really make much sense, but it sounds really interesting, like “Ooze-dripping caramel-hazel of ten million eyes like godly tear-nectar”. To me, that sentence sounds/reads like caramel. Say it aloud. Heck, say the above haiku aloud, too.

See what I mean?

But the poetry of words isn’t really part of this right now.

What?” You’re probably yelling, “Hey guys, Aidyl isn’t talking about the poetry of words in a post about poetry! You’ve got to come read this!”

As you learned in elementary school, every word has a different role to play in a sentence. There are the two basic types that you need to make a simple sentence  noun (subject) and verb. Then there are the ones that writers and poets earn their bread with: adjectives and adverbs, baby!

Ahem, we’re not talking about adjectives and adverbs right now either. And don’t dial-up all your friends to tell them about it!

Some words can be a verb or a noun, depending on where they are in the sentence, such as “eyes”. “He eyes her.” has a different meaning from “Her eyes. He…”, am I right? A friend of mine gave me this prompt that I’m about to show you a few examples of. The idea is to write one haiku about anything, and then to take the words and change them around. This is what I came up with by only exchanging the words on the same line.

By hanging her knees’

caramel apples and eating

her bright eyes; oh green!


Her knees, by hanging

and eating apples, caramels

her green, oh bright! eyes.


Knees her, hanging by

apples and eating caramel.

Eyes her, oh bright green.

Here’s a brief summary of the meaning of each of the three weird haiku, in case you got a little lost. 1) By hanging up the caramel apples that belonged to her knees and eating her eyes: oh green! 2) By eating apples and hanging around, her knees caramelize her eyes (rhyme unintended) 3) He knees her as he hangs by apples and eats caramel. Then he eyes her; oh bright green.

Few make sense, but watch what happens if I start mixing up words from all over the poem…?

Eyes bright by hanging

apples and green caramel, oh

and eating her knees.


Caramel eyes and her

apples eating her green and

knees and by–oh! Bright!

Just two haiku and we’re already getting a little into the kind of dreamland that you can only get to by eating a sixteen-inch triple-anchovy pizza with garlic and pineapple on it, two minutes before you go to sleep. Or twenty-five apple fritters from some questionable gas station. But no matter how much you stuffed yourself with items from the “fats and sweets” part of the food triangle that is supposed to remain microscopic, you’ve still got to appreciate how many different haiku I got out of those thirteen words. In fact, even though the six haiku I’ve just shared with you seems like a lot, there are still over six million different combinations for those thirteen words. If you can find out a way to rearrange the words that fits the meter (see above if you can’t remember it) and sounds really cool, share it in the comments. I’d love to see what you can come up with!



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