a chain of waters hangs across the heart of this country,
where once, in the eccentricity of time,
huge ice stretched and lay;
and in the summer of cycles,
melted and receded,
leaving these and other markings of its law.
was a solitary monument of granite,
outside the circle of the sun,
a sudden block mountain of stone,
heavy above the scraped and glaciated undulations,
and silent planar shadows.
Onik was one;
he, after fronting the other for thirty vacations of polar light,
went to him, and with metal of his own, scraped him;
paused in thought;
and then began to chisel and chip the mountain Tunatok.
like a summer thought,
i queried the purpose of his action; quoth he:
there is a creature hidden in this rock,
and i mean to see him free.
the stars turn, and shift subtly, irrevocably,
and still Onik leans on Tunatok,
exerting his pointed force and direction,
and the scree of gravel and sand mounts at his feet,
darkening in the wind.
Onik, what do you carve? Onik, what is it you make?
like an autumn leaf in passing, i said,
i think i see him, Onik,
i see your creature in the stone.
There is his shape to us.
but he, after pausing to assess my view, patiently shakes his head
and reapplies his task.
no, he speaks.
he is not he who lives within this rock;
but in this rock is he,
and i shall see him free.
in the blindness of white or the blindness of night,
Onik has sculptured the Tunatok away;
he has chipped the mountain into pieces and sand;
and lying among the rubble in the snow of years,
in exhaustion and frustration,
Onik springing to his feet surveys the ruins of his exploits with an eye like
fire; seizes of a boulder and smashes it to dust; scoops a handful and spits
into it; moulds it in the palm of his hand; and holding it aloft,
presses and burns it with the kiln of his thought;
and of a sudden opens his fingers, and lo!
the creature by Onik in Tunatok
glows with the milk of suns
and illumines the marches
and the spaces of the night.