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THE SANDLESS SAND CASTLE

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SUMMER 1969 (19 years old) *Never saw his twentieth year

VIETNAM

(my older brother)

SUMMER 1961 (11 years old)

KALAPANA, HAWAII *Completely covered by a lava flow in the 80's--no longer exist

(Kaimu Black Sand Beach) *Completely covered by a lava flow in the 90's--no longer exist

Listen to poem:
Let me tell you about my eldest brother.

I am: the "Scram!", the "Beat it!", the "What you looking at?!", and the "Turn around and watch the movie!", younger brother. As you can see, he has, a lot of phrases he says to me, whereto, I've just but one and it is, "I'm gonna tell mom!???", comment that was bravely said, with a pose best described to be, {S-H-A-K-ingly}. What I am meaning to say, is that, he, "vehemently enjoys his privacy?" Well, what would a six-year old kid know about the words, "ve-he-ve-he-ve-hementalee" and "pri-vah-C". The words I know there are--other than "his", is, "enjoys", so obligingly, I was been accommodating. So the crazy cycle, gets to be recycled, so the madness, merrily goes on...

It was until the age of nine, he was more respectable to me. Treating me more as an equal, and though, he no longer put me around his neck, have me stand, whilst he stands on his long surfboard, and to the count of three, whence I lept off into the seawater. As he paddles in, I swam as fast as I could, both of us used the waves to push us in. 'Twas a race for me, but for him, 'twas not, for he just wanted to be sure I reached the shore--safely. He then paddled out and rejoined with his friends, for this is the age, that I knew of the words, "vehemently" and "privacy", and with that, I embraced most honorably. I stood on the sandy beach whilst he surfed magnificently, and decided to build a 'sandless' sand castle of him, to be ingrained in the treasury of my mind. I'd lock and hold its key and hide it most secretly, for 'twas just to be, a part of my future me, just something we call, a "memory".

I am a couple years older, eleven I'd be, in our town home of Hilo, Hawaii. In the upstairs room, known as the Chamber room, that was twice as high than the rest of the house, with french windows that extended on our rooftop. Supposedly, an imaginary third or perhaps a fourth floor exist above this rooms vaulted ceiling, --it hides. Sparsely furnished, asides mom's baby grand piano, it echoes most pleasantly. I would stand in a corner and make a snap holler, then ran after several parts of me wafts away. On the other side, stood I, with a puzzled face looking about. {Later, when we moved to the mainland, I had looked back at its soulless presence, and wondered if the remnants of me would be okay. I smiled, as the car pulled away, I could see the roof's extensions and thought, perhaps the new family will have kids same age as me. If so, I know they'll holler too and their echoed presence, will find the parts of me and play the 'echo' game, and have fun, most pleasantly}

In "69, much in the news, a place called Vietnam, of particular interest to our family. My older brother is over there, fresh out of high school at eighteen. Now he's nineteen, a real G.I. JOE, though he joined the marines as a scout for his small band of men. At home, he runs barefoot across lava fields dotted with shiny sharpen edged stones, e'er so carefully, scuba dives, throw the fish net, hunt down live game of wild boars or goats, and cliff fishing too. Apollo was also in the news, and dad bought me a Revell plastic model to play with, mostly, upstairs in the Chamber room. One day, I heard my mom crying aloud, unceasingly. I ran to the stairway where I saw her sitting, blocking me, weeping uncontrollably. Two men, dressed in uniform, stood at attention just beyond our french doorway. Just behind them, neath the portico of our driveway, parked a black 4-door sedan, with white ambiguous inscription on the drivers side door. All this seen by eleven year old me, as I stood on the bay seats of one of the chamber's bay windows, looking betwixt outside and back down a longer glance, of mom holding a paper, sobbing whilst sitting on our stairway, blocking me. My sisters gathered round her, with perpetual hugs of such intensity, as I too mourned having realized what IT, had to be. I was alone in that great Chamber room, yet I felt those parts of me, hugging me, just like my sisters hugged our mom, tenderly.

Today is my brother's day. I affectionately honor him, for 'tis has been near to five decades and bout a year, since I physically was in his presence. Our village of the family alma mater, mines included, the VFW Post, is named after my brother. Our town of Hilo honored him and others with a memorial in the most quietude part of town, next to a pristine lake with dinghies of father's and son's, or elderly single men, all fishing in its most pristine setting. My brother's buried in Hilo town's Veterans Memorial Cemetery, on a hill, overlooking the town.

Okay my brother, for it is time, once again. We will enjoin our spirits and seize this day. Today marks the semi-centennial, half-a-century, five decades, or the fiftieth year of 'Memorial Days" we've spent together. So now--you know the drill, it is time for me to go to my secret hiding place, get the key, and unlock my 'sandless sand castle'.



Date: 05/27/2019

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




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Date: 5/29/2019 9:29:00 PM
William, thank you for guiding me to this enjoyable read. What an honor to have it named after your brother. He will always be with you. Your poem is so well written and very descriptive .. My husband also spent time in the Vietnam and station in Japan for 15 years , 20 years in the Navy. His stories were hard for him to tell. A winner already.. good luck in the contest. Hugs Eve
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William Kekaula
Date: 5/29/2019 9:47:00 PM
'Twas a difficult write, meaning having to write through the eyes of a younger me (talking with the grandbabies helped), noticeable mix of an adult too. Speaking truthfully comes easier than making up something to write about 'Truth', appreciate your input indeed Eve, Aloha William
Date: 5/27/2019 9:01:00 PM
This is a fabulous tribute to your brother, and I know he knows about it even if it has been fifty-one years. I believe all spirits that pass on know of whatever we do in their honor. A wonderful write for Memorial Day. Bravo!
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William Kekaula
Date: 5/27/2019 9:18:00 PM
I too believe this to be true Caren, and that he's with mom now, they are together again--I already told them that I'll be along shortly, hugs Caren, Aloha wk
Date: 5/27/2019 8:25:00 PM
What a tremendous write and tribute to your honorable brother! This should be a POTD, as it prose poetry in my book. You will see him again. How proud you must be of your brother. Thank you for sharing him with all of us. and this nation. Blessings, Panagiota
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William Kekaula
Date: 5/27/2019 8:44:00 PM
Ah, so sweet Panagiota, funny that--I originally had it as Prose Poetry, then I changed it to Dramatic Monologue, but after seeing your comment--I concur. Again, I'm appreciative of your valuable words Panagiota, Aloha wk