Haboob haiku for traffic safety: “I will brake for you”

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Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas, in 1935

World turns brown with dust
can’t see red taillights ahead
until – oh crap! Oops.

Doesn’t quite have the rhythm of the thing, does it?  Try this one, on a more lovelorn note:

I don’t yet know you –
Curious but fearful, haboob –
I will break for you

I guess it works if you somehow count “curious” as two syllables.  Otherwise, this one’s a 5-8-5.  And shouldn’t that be … brake?

Perhaps we’re winding down from the seriousness of  Sir Geoffrey Hill‘s 80th birthday yesterday with the silliness of this.  But we covered Koko the Gorilla‘s poetry contest, and haikumania – this seems like a logical follow-up.  Dust storm poetry – or haboob poetry, if you want to get exotic about it.

Dust storms are a driving hazard.  So, according to CNN, the Arizona Department of Transportation invited one and all  to take to Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) and write haikus – perhaps the most popular verse form in the history of the world.  It’s even jumped species.

“The challenge … is really designed to raise awareness that this is a problem and that drivers shouldn’t expect to sail through a dust storm,” Department spokesman Timothy Tait told Reuters.

You’re supposed to slow down and pull to the side of the road.  And while you’re off to the side, you might try composing a little haiku on your smartphone.  Post it at this Twitter hashtag:  #haikuchallenge

“There’s no cash prizes, but we are offering bragging rights,” said Tait.

People are still tweeting on the hashtag, although the official haboob haiku campaign wound up last weekend. Mother Nature applauded the effort with this on Saturday:


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