The Burning Man was eighty feet high
Atop a temple of Moorish lace
Confections of stars and midnight suns
All on a lake bed flat and sere, already
Old when primates first appeared.
Fire dancers whirled as the stars chirped
Hosannas to the primal rite.
Nothing is lost, but all is gained,
Extravagance is the law of the land.
Open now, as the clouds pass by,
Fire is water, and water itself
Soars into the stratosphere.
High art falls into the dust,
No one complains, and all rejoice.
Surreal it is, and yet romantic,
Bacchus himself rides on the wind,
And here it is that once a year
Artists bring about the birth
Of Shiva’s endless pillar of fire.
by Gawaine Caldwater Ross