Kelsey Yap

Selected Poems


selected poems



Change is inevitable
Whether for good or for bad
For all that we have experienced, and yet to be had

The ocean is ever changing
Faster than the blink of an eye
But I refuse to just stand by

The ocean is changing faster than the speed of light
And I just can’t sit tight
Things are happening quicker than the changing tide
And we just seem to hide

We are the cause of most problems
But are we really doing all that we can to fix it

We can cause change
But we can be the change

If we persist like the ocean
Day after day, facing every hardship we overcome
Like it’s a whole new wave

We’ll brave the rough seas
Saving all that we can
Bringing the change back to where it all began

He pūkoʻa kani ʻāina.
A coral reef that grows into an island

A coral reef that grows into an island. Hawaiians have a saying Hanau ka ‘Uku-ko‘ako‘a, hanau
kana, he ‘Ako‘ako‘a, puka which states that all life began with a single coral polyp. These small
organisms which came together and created many of the reefs and island communities that we
call home today. Something so small and seemingly “insignificant” rooted itself to become a
strong place which will be around. It takes years for an island to establish, not just by the work of
one polyp. Just like the polyp, it does not take one person to make a difference. They will band
together, because they are stronger as a group, and this will be the foundation to support the

ʻAʻohe hana nui ke alu ʻia No task is too big when done together by all.

An ahupuaʻa is a Hawaiian land division which usually separates the land from the mountains (mauka) to the sea (makai). Within this division, it involves such large efforts to keep it healthy in a way to provide back for the people. Any effects towards mauka will affect the makai areas and vice versa. With this system, the whole community was able to provide food. It begins with rain and streams that feeding the loʻi (taro patches), the nutrients washing towards the loko iʻa (fishponds) and fish are harvested to feed the community. It was a whole food system set in place run by the community to feed the community and made Hawaiʻi a self-thriving and self-sustaining place with many people involved. At every step of the way, there needed to be workers. It was a brilliant system, but one that wasn’t to be managed alone. It took the whole community to feed and support the community. With each member sharing a part of the responsibility (kuleana), it was very manageable and an astonishing system.

Kelsey YapPhotographer/Writer

Kelsey Yap is an amateur photographer based in Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Graduating from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa in 2022, her major is Natural Resources and Environmental Management with a specialization in coastal ecology. In the future, Kelsey plans to combine her love for photography with the passion for the ocean. While she has feet in both the science and photography world, she is hoping to expand her skill set as well as experience in any way she can.

I Voted
Laura Parker Roerden
Selected Poems
Zoe Korte
Absolutely Fucked & Selected Works
Yasmeen Mir
Why Nursing?
Sara Luster
My Pandemic Reality
Reyna Amaya
Barren or Fruitless
Zoë Barnstone-Clark
This is What Democracy Looks Like:
Sacred, Hard Won, and Fragile

Contributing Artists
American Omens
Lynn Mitchell
R.B. Kitaj
Alan Loehle
Education in the Age of COVID
Bonnie Culver
Theater of Cruelty
Cody Marsh
Selected Talisman Poems
Aliki Barnstone & Corina Dross
Selected Poems
Jacob Griffin Hall
Julia Fleming-Dresser
Adam Sobsey
Anthropocine Series
Alan Loehle
Ernest Burden
Trans World Airlines
Human Decency: A Priority
Michael Matos
Phoenician Morphosis & Selected Works
Knocking for the Future
Pauline Allen
Meet Them Where They Live (Part 1)
Paxton Farrar
Deb Luster
Consider This
Akiya Henry
Selected Works
Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah
A View of Black Lives Matter
Contributing Artists
True Form Films
Yeniffer Behrens-Mendoza & Mauricio Mendoza
PFAs Contamination
Tonya Chandler
The Dirt on Clean Wine
Tom Mills & Adrienne Voboril
Reinvent & Reconsider
Holly Arbuckle
One Health by Design
Jessi Flynn
Kweza Craft Brewery
Jessi Flynn
A New Resistance
Ed Brown
Beyond Rorschach
John Fleming
Journey to Her Roots
Kat Donnelly
Drink Different
Jason Dibble
The Frontier in my Fridge
Chien-Kang Chen
Kyung Me
When BeDeviled
Sara Jolena Wolcott
10 Years in the U.S.
Yee Eun Nam
Diatribe Diaries
D.S. Legters
The Bucky Ball
Contributing Writers & Artists
Isabel Mareş
Infinity + 1
David Zung
The Jingle Dress Project
Eugene Tapahe
Flowers Everywhere
Deependra Bajracharya
Desire Lines
Gui Marcondes
Planetary Health and the Great Transition
Marie Studer

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