The People

(7 August 1994) after Edwin Markham

Each time the earth assembles itself, the plants, mountains, waters, winds, stars, Sun, and Moon are not unwitting dupes. They people the assembly, contribute to the discussion, and carry out, in their own desires, the common will. Everything with form, substance, purpose, and relation is alive; it talks, it thinks, it feels, and it acts for good, for bad, or for indifferent ends. It laughs, it dances, it plays, it dreams with the plants and the animals, with humans of all tribes and places. We are all people and must play our parts in madcap, passionate, and solemn acts. No one appears great except for the greatness of others; no one lives except for the lives of others; no one exists except for the existence of others. Bear people, Sun, Moon, star people, tree people, wind people, lightning people, have lived, died, and live again as we dream together. Stick people, stone people, worm people, moth people, salmon people, deer people, root people, grass people, Turtle, Eagle, Cottontail, Spider, Coyote, Raven— multitudes assemble the earth.