as i pluck from each tree

Long have I lived
within my skin, pores opened
to invite the world,
breathing in the boundless benevolence
of a bountiful universe as if I was feeding on another.

On a fine day, laying beneath a cocoa tree I roused from slumber to realise I was mistaken to think of my life as only ever taking, never giving. How foolish was I to ravenously feast on graciousness, to be lost in such a predatory complacence that I could not see that as I pluck from each tree the very seeds of my actions inter themselves within the soil, nourishing the foundation of future generations.

How blind was I to not see that my self does not end with my skin, that the boundaries which have delineated my life are illusory, that my spirit swims not just in my body but in the hummingbirds fluttering from flower to flower and in far-flung tulips, blossoming forever in the spring.

Poem by Khan Pan
Images by Marisa Papen & Michael Chichi