Haikus etc.

The time spent here in Alaska has bred a variety of haikus, haiku variants (haiku-like verseforms, or HLVs), and other prose and verse expressions of the team’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences during the campaign.

As many of these as we could gather have been collected below, identified as much as possible by date and author – enjoy!

05 Mar 2014 (local):


Day after new moon
Much awaited rocket launch
Lovely trip draws close

With old friends and new
This time ends, prepare for next
Adventure awaits

03 Mar 2014 (local):

Adam Escobar (AE, NSROC):

Time to say farewell.
Fast particles from our sun.
Goodbye and Thank You!

Awesome job you all,
For the successful mission
Now time to publish!

02 Mar 2014 (local):


Few words left to say,
But we’re still optimistic
That we’ll launch today.


High in heaven’s manse
Bz Bows in reverence
To divine romance.

Praying that per chance
Aurora and Boreas
Lead the spirits dance!


Hey elusive arc
Zenith is over there, dude
It’s about damn time

Dim, wide green madness
Electromagnetic ghost
Surrender your soul

01 Mar 2014:


Coffee coffee in my veins
Stimulate this writer’s brains
Course right through my ev’ry artery
Make my verse more terse and smartery
By the teacup, by the mug,
Inspiration by the jug
Is it madness, do I sorta
Feel a throb in my aorta?
No, ’tis nothing, just a twinge
Time to start another binge.

28 Feb 2014:


Patience, a virtue
Especially while waiting
To launch yet again

27 Feb 2014:


The magnetic storm
Transports lovely Aurora
Oh ye fickle beast


Someone in Berkeley
Will wear a GREECE hat tonight
Even though it’s warm

25 Feb 2014 (local):


The team returned and
staying up all night was fun
we should do it more.

Clear sky, tired mind,
maybe staying up all night
was a mistake. Nah.

24 Feb 2014:


Good luck tonight!

The second window
For elusive Aurora
Beautiful curtain


Good luck guys tonight!!

Under the cold sky
Hot is the rocket team’s mind
Like the Texan air.

May aurora shine
Above the Poker Flat hill
Where my spirit lies.


may the azimuth
and variability
be in your favor

20 Feb 2014:


And all this science
I do understand; it’s my
Job, five days a week


19 Feb 2014:

JC (another entry in the classic rock song lyrics division):

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh
So ready to launch!

15 Feb 2014:


Oh I’m so sleepy
Time zones and nights shifts don’t mix
Worth it to be home

Never used to nap
Mmm  wake me in an hour
I’ll make dinner then

Song haikus are hard
Can’t think of any lyrics
That are about sleep


09 Feb 2014:


No complaint tonight
Caribou on rice arrived
Fry bread for dessert


on our last day here
the night grows late, the sky dark
hope remains on range

it’s the end of the
window as we know it, and
our rocket feels fine

AS (the gauntlet is down on the classic rock lyrics haiku slam…):

That’s the thrill of the
flight, rising up to the chal-
lenge of our deadline


08 Feb 2014


Oh, inefficient
Dryer. Why are my pants wet!?
Curse you forever


Fixing instrument
Freezing off some body parts
Did not know I had

07 Feb 2014


Looking through my lens
An aurora symphony
Brushes the heavens

But the end draws nigh
Under booster impact threat
Rocket cannot fly



No word from Poker
Listening to wolves howling
Is anyone there?

Two Aurora night
Neither one was good enough
Picky scientists

If I just went home
Would they even know I’m gone?
Would be fun to try

I was just kidding
I would never do such things
I like Venetie

I forgot coffee
Playing checkers by myself
Just to stay awake

Dried caribou gone
Granola makes my mouth dry
Need some water now

Peanut butter here
I just cannot find a knife
Or a piece of bread

No sympathy here
Scientists in cozy room
I sit in igloo

06 Feb 2014


No haiku today –

Day off for the range.

This is not a haiku, nope.

05 Feb 2014


A good team counting
A good rocket waits tonight
Could tonight be right?

04 Feb 2014

Eric Nichols (EN, UAF-GI Poker Flat Team):

Coffee running low
At the arctic apogee
Twiddling my thumbs

I’m in Venetie
Science is a lonely craft
But I cannot quit

Hugging a wood stove
Odd juxtaposition this
Physics in the Bush

No green arc above
No rocket’s red glare either
Will it ever end?

Oddly quiet now
Oddly quiet ev’ry night
Am I going mad?

Electronic eyes
They see but they do not feel
But I could be wrong

The aurora swirls
Yet it costs me not a dime
Is your world the same?

Emmanuel Masongsong (EM, AA to THEMIS/ARTEMIS PI Angelopoulos, UCLA):

cold engine waiting
 to ignite smoldering sky
 no green light; red eyes

 rocket foiled again
 damn solar wind blow harder
 so my friends can sleep

(Praying for negative Bz…)

02 Feb 2014


The Seahawks persevere,
Even without beer,
And very little cheer.
The sky is clear,
The aurora did appear,
Although winds have shear,
And the strength to steer,
The aurora should fear,
For the PI is near,
And she’ll get this rocket out of here.


Tiny golden moon
Setting in the western sky
Beautiful and kind


I don’t like haikus
Syllables are confusing
Must learn to count toes


I wasn’t speeding!
Said the one that got pulled over
Nobody believes


Lil’ fox in the road
Lookout lil’ fox we’re speeding
Now it has no tail

01 Feb 2014


Oh ye Haiku tree
Ever fruitful may you be
Yielding words of glee


The all sky is clear
No plague of ice fog for us!
Time for a Kvikk Lunsj

31 Jan 2014


Clear up the whole sky –
The solar wind is not bad
Now to start the show!


Pitch black, icy road
The white snake of the mountain
Lurks among the trees

Pale vortex of snow
The curl of a breaking wave
Avoid the white drift

The caravan lurks
Slowly descending downward
Followers now lead


The sky is cloudy –

Why worry about files?

Dissertation looms…


From the pentagon
A symbol of the heavens
Paper stars transformed


This one goes out to Christian:

Dealt an awful hand.
Oh Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!
Tough to make a bid.

Stars, cubes, balls, and cones,
Son of a biscuit eater!
Reggie missed that trick.


OC this is an update
From the RSO.
Balloons are sending data down
And all our sensors show:
Upper level wind speeds
Are steady, calm, and slow.
Lower level breezes
Are light and scarcely blow.
Countdown clock is frozen.
Anticipation grows.
Console lights are green
In the valley down below.
Launcher’s set and ready
For a winter show.
If we launch this rocket,
Wind weighting is a GO.

Don George (DG; APIS Engineer, SwRI):

Far from Texas sits
my soul. Poured into a box,
waiting for its chance.

Far from Texas waits….
my soul,  imprisoned, boxed, cold
dreaming, yearning… FLY!

Thu, 30 Jan 2014:


Two mags by a mast
What will they measure tonight
Not the aurora


There once was a Billingsley mag
Whose roll axis raised a red flag
When vertically checked
The signal was wrecked
As the LP sweep caused it to sag

The LP makes data electrical
Its boom with the mag’s is symmetrical
Its bias it shares
And Bx it impairs
For analysis highly impractical


CHEEZ-ITs we extol!
Little orange crunchy squares
Fill mission control.


Downrange keograms
Oh, why are you so purple?
Let’s see some color



Frost on the Allsky

Evaporating slowly
Let us see the sky!

Wed, 29 Jan 2014:


Is that aurora?
No, flashing lights behind me
Only a warning


Solar flare erupts
Coronal mass ejection
Will it come our way?

Terri Snyder (TS; ACS Tech, NSROC):

Following the Edge
Moving slow down the mountain
Vexing the convoy!


Skype beeps and buzzes
Connecting us to loved ones.
Can you hear me now?


Solar flare erupts
Coronal mass ejection
Will it come our way?

28 Jan 2014

Marilia Samara (MS; GREECE PI, SwRI):

Scientists geek out
Please Aurora, help! Save us…
From our geeky selves!

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 (VG):


pie is delicious
and we all ate some tonight
hope it’s not kool-aid


pie looks delicious
but shared pie scares the Co-I –
though tempted, he balks


The pie is now gone
What food will bring aurora?
Have here tomorrow


What will tempt southward
Little Red Arc of the North –
tangerines?  brownies?


Aw, Little Red Arc.
We saw him last time I was here  🙂
Also, I think pomegranates

Mon, 27 Jan 2014:


The minutes grow long
As we watch a quiet clock
Fail to start counting


Quiet sky whispers
Of a dancing sea of light
Coming in a storm


Count night number two
No launch and no aurora
Beer makes it better


Had to leave early
So glad you guys didn’t launch
The very next day


But best of luck, though.
Superbowl Rocket Party!
That would be worth it.


Far too much data
I have frightened the server
Now it hides from me

Keiichi Ogasawara (KO; MESP Co-I, SwRI):

Slow is solar wind,
And so flat is IMF.
Scientists just pray.

Jorge (George) Camacho (JC; Power Eng, NSROC):

Launch fever high
Goodies all but gone away
Salvation soon to come

CA:  “Remove ‘soon’ and it’s good.”


Haiku Nazi lurks
So as not to anger him
better not mess up

Science comes and goes
The question to launch is hard
But Pie is easy


Quite the auroral
Display in Kaktovik, but
We’re not looking there


Practice makes perfect
Practice counts sound perfect now
But surely you jest


What’s that in the sky!?
It’s swamp gas or a rocket
The truth is out there



Sun, 26 Jan 2014:


The lonely trav’ler

Bag without a passenger
Where have you sent me

Fri, 24 Jan 2014:


fishtails and donuts

the maneuvers of the day –
help polar vortex!

Wed, 22 Jan 2014:


Fly safely rocket
High above the quiet Earth
Data streaming down


The popcorn machine

Has arrived at the block house
All’s right with the world

John Bonnell (Fields Co-I, UCB):

a moose by the road
foraging nude in the cold
we are tourists here


ITAR problem – no!
A poor-man’s sabatical –
Leavenworth Fed Pen


Beautiful rocket
Snug inside your heated rail
Waiting there to fly

Tue, 21 Jan 2014


Mother of haikus
Anticipated with glee
When will Jorge write me?

Chris Chamberlain (CC; Mission Manager, NSROC):

Quickly don your plugs.

ACS is blowing gas.

Difficult to breath.

Valerie Gsell (VG; ACS Lead, NSROC):

where is my strip chart?!

telemetry up the hill

let me get the car


My styrofoam box
Unique home ‘til I take flight
Keeps me toasty warm


Pad three butterflies
Confused by synthetic heat
Creates launch fever


shelter butterfly
you know it is cold outside
shelter almost gone


Review the data
steps and dots and squiggly lines
was my system on?


There is a loose screw.
If from the payload or peeps
We may never know.


Mon, 20 Jan 2014:

Christian Amey (CA; TM Engineer, NSROC):

Minutes in vacuum

So much data to process

Months to analyze

Libby West (WL; SRPO Representative):

Poker Flat winter

Northern lights engulf the sky

Exhaust plume fills pad


Payload on the rail

Antennas ready to track

Waiting on science


Daylight is lacking

Miss the orange orb in sky

Aurora fills void


Fin bolt insert gone

Replacement lost in shipping

New procedure used


Bless our fruitful launch,

Ye Gods of Sounding Rockets.

We offer doughnuts.


the aurora swirls

across the sky in fiery

hues of green and red

or at least that’s what

I hear; the sky has been dark

come on solar flare


Ready for a rollout?

Ready as we’ll ever be.

Standby to standby.

Erica Kotta (Electrical Eng, UCB):

We all look busy

typing, but actually we’re

just writing haikus


The poor GREECE rocket…

Outside….all alone, and cold…

I hope it’s OK…


All star female team

Breaking through that glass ceiling

Sailing winds of change.


Journeyed to North Pole.

Elf’s Den was dark and empty.

Warm drinks at Santas.


Waiting by the clock,

The seconds pass so slowly,

Go payload go.


No Moose is in sight,

We have no reason to fear

A fictitious beast.


Payload leaves today

For a journey to the rail

With a warm blanket.

Thu, 16 Jan 2014:


Try to visualize,

Glacial snot inside

Freezing nose hairs together

Must make the “Oh” face

Amanda Slagle (AS; Electrical Eng, UCB):

Pretty snow falling

Keep it off the rocket please
Time for rollout test

It’s mechanical?
Must have been Jeremy’s fault
Or maybe Andrew’s


The GREECE launch campaign

Test after test after test

Don’t miss the window

It’s so freaking cold
Someone else go start the car
My snot is freezing



Beautiful rocket

Snug inside your heated rail

Waiting there to fly


Falling from the sky

Warm enough to snow outside

Too cold to enjoy


the weather is cold

rockets launching everywhere

welcome to Poker


the launcher is set

will the skies cooperate?

see you tomorrow


here we are again

the blockhouse smells like popcorn

maybe launch tonight?


The drive is dark and

treacherous; the road icy

don’t get behind me





2 Responses to Haikus etc.

  1. Shivani says:

    work, preparation;
    conditions gather in sight:
    nature’s Northern Lights

  2. What I really like about this blog is that here I see those
    topics that really matters to me. Today the training for me personally would
    be the vital point and, for example, Haikus etc.
    – GREECE certainly uncovers the situation.

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