Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ADOT launches "Haboob Haiku" challenge

Taken last July, this photo shows an oncoming Haboob.
Our mission this week is massive and we’ve got to admit, we are going to need a little help.

We’re trying to spread the word on monsoon and dust storm safety and we want to reach as many people as possible, which is where you come in!

After kicking things off yesterday with some driving tips and that cautionary video, we’re launching a “Haboob Haiku” challenge on Twitter today and we’d like you to help us educate others.

Let us explain.

Besides being fun to say, ‘haboob’ is another word for a dust storm and a Haiku is a type of poetry that conforms to a certain syllable structure.

Put them together and you’ve got a Haboob Haiku!

Haikus are traditionally written in three lines – the first line consists of five syllables, the second line has seven and the third line ends with five. Usually these poems are focused on just about any subject, but for our challenge we want you to stick with Haboobs, dust storms and our safety theme (remember “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” from yesterday’s post?).

Ready for a few examples to get things started?

  Dust cloud approaching:
  The air becomes thick and brown.
  Pull over and wait

  Haboob engulfs you –
  Vision obscured and hazy –
  Exit the roadway.

  Drive with care in dust
  Pull aside and stay alive
  Wait for dust to pass

  Dust storms mean danger
  Zero visibility
  Pull over and wait

We’d like you to post your Haboob Haiku creations on Twitter and include the hashtag #HaboobHaiku. Be sure to share with your friends and let them know what it’s all about. After all, our No. 1 goal is safety and we want to reach as many Arizona drivers as we can to help them prepare for the monsoon and dust storm season ahead ... but who says we can’t have a little fun, too? We're excited to see what you all come up with!!


  1. While this is a cute idea, I think it's too highbrow for the types of people who would be foolish enough to drive into a dust storm.

    Have you considered doing a presentation on a reality TV show? I think that's a better audience match for this message.

  2. Why say then define? (5)
    Haboobs are big dust storms. (7)
    Just say big dust storms! (5)

  3. Chubasco, haboob
    Or Monsoon, it's all scary
    So don't drive nor text!

    1. We can't text in a dust storm?

    2. only if we can see our phones...

  4. Sand flies left and right
    changing the day, stealing light
    like sideways cyclone

  5. Pull far off the road.

    Do not let your break lights show.

    Or you might get hit.

  6. Haboob I see you,
    Eating my town with your dust.
    Are we your dessert?

  7. wall of sand blows in.
    pull off, lights off. listen to
    that famed Kansas song.

  8. No Twitter account!

    You return to dust.
    Pull over in a dust storm
    Or today's the day.

  9. I can't see and I
    Can't flee; I pull over & stop
    Till haboob's passed me.

  10. Who needs vision while moving forward?
    Lights On! Don't Stop!

    ... Nutcase: Ha! Boob!!

  11. Skies above all brown?
    Pull over now silly clown!
    Don't be a dumbass.

  12. Boiling, swirling dust.
    Pull over. Lights off. Top up.
    Haboobs are dirty.

  13. Poet's comments concerning HABOOB haiku submitted below:
    A sayinng, pehaps colloquial but certainly not original by this poet, was bantered about in Indiana circa 1950's went something like this:

    "On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions, who at the dawning of victory, sat down to rest and resting - died."

    In Arizona at certain places and times, the dust from these bleached bones becomes the substance of a "haboob" which prompts this submission of my Haboob haiku for the ADOT contest:

    In Arizona,
    A haboob lifts dust skyward.
    Dust from sunbleached bones!

    Copyright 2012 D.J. Ellingsberg
    Tucson, AZ 85750-2405

  14. rushing wall of sand
    drivers surrender their road
    desert roars dust reigns

  15. When earth fills the sky,
    Pull far off the road and hide,
    And you'll stay alive.


  16. Blowing in the wind
    I see her in my back yard
    Neighbor's cat, Haboob

  17. Waste of tax money
    Bureaucrats, Morons, haBOOBs
    Fire them this instant


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