This all started many years earlier with another poem I wrote titled “Ozymandias In Reverse”. That poem told of a person traveling in the desert who came upon great carved stones lying about on the land, and a tower built of these stones. The person wondered how these great building stones and tower came to be. The poem was an attempt to take the idea of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” and turn it on it’s head. It wondered if a great structure, rather than falling into wreck and decay with the passage of time, could somehow come into being, could come to greatness with the passage of time.
I had visited Mount Rushmore many decades before and had an image of the monument in my mind, but this picture struck me differently. Instead of us looking at the figures on Mount Rushmore and wondering about them, what do those figures think when they look out at this land? And then another question came to mind – what about the figures that are missing from this monument? What about those who lived on this land for millenia before the Europeans arrived?