The Sun-kissed Man II

Calloused hands

Hard and black

Grime and dirt caked in

Dusty jeans

A light blue singlet

Tobacco fills a rusty tin

 

Sitting in

A rocking chair

On a faded porch

Watching as

The red sun sets

A glaring heaven torch

 

His body’s tired

His bones ache

His muscles stiff and sore

Yet he will rise

Fresh and ready

With the coming of the dawn

 

Sitting peaceful

In the twilight

Thinking of the days he roamed

No regrets

The Sun-kissed Man

In his exile all alone

 

©Aarron Mondello

16/5/2018

Twisted Tales

 

Three little pigs went out one day
Were caught by a butcher and brutally slain
Never again did the pigs complain
About the big bad wolf who wouldn’t go away

Little Red Riding Hood grabbed the treats
Basket on her arm she was tidy and neat
Out in the forest she was too slow on her feet
Pounced on from behind the wolf started to eat

Hansel and Gretel in a sweet cake hut
Gretel’s back swollen in welts and cuts
She weeps silently when Hansel’s time is up
The witch cackled loud when she spills his guts

Young flying Peter from another land
Dueling back and forth on the white beach sand
With a pirate who sports a black hook for hand
The sand turned red with spilled blood of the Pan

Snow White lying still and cold as death
Barely seen is the rise and fall of her chest
Along comes one who steals her breath
Strangled and suffocated Snow White is dead

Twist it, taint it, make it hollow
Take the light and cast it in shadow
Tales told in a voice pitched low
In the flickering light of a candles glow

©Aarron Mondello
27/4/2018

 

A Land Passed

 

An ancient ruined
Battered keep
A home for the dead
Hear them weep
Forever here
In eternal sleep
Forever trapped
In a ruined keep

Green grass swaying
Around full grown trees
Spoken softly
On the breeze
Words unheard
Yet understood with ease
As spirits rest
Amongst the trees

All but forgotten
Denizens of this land
Forever untouched
By gods hands
Prisoners in glass
Within times sands
The long dead people
Of this long dead land

©Aarron Mondello
4/4/2018

 

Lost Storytellers

 

How I yearn for days or yore
A time I only know from tales
When storytellers would sit before
An audience in raptured silence

Youth to Gama’s and Gaffa’s aged
Would hear words come to life
Told with voice full of grace
Of adventure, war and glory

A time when ones imagination
Took them to worlds afar
Tellers wove for them destinations
And they rode there on captured hearts

How I yearn for those times again
That I know only from tales
When for an audience one would wend
A path through distant lands

©Aarron Mondello
31/3/2018

 

Passing the Eucalypt

 

Long brown dugite
Slithers softly
Through the grass with ease
Rustling whispers
From tumbling passing
Windblown summer leaves

Shadows cast
Upon the ground
From soft clouds above
Racing swiftly
The wedge tailed eagle
Driven by the hunt

Birds trill loudly
From golden boughs
Of the great eucalyptus tree
Kookaburra pair
Upon its crown
Laughing light and free

Bounding past
Broad yet graceful
A troop of big red roo’s
Heading home
With the sunset
In groups of three’s and two’s

When twilight sets
Dark and peaceful
Come possums out to play
Until red sun rises
At the dawn
Of another bush land day

©Aarron Mondello
30/3/2018

 

Hunted

 

On this night
This silent night
Dark clouds dim the moon
And cast the land in shadow

On this flight
This tiresome flight
Weariness eats at me
My muscles gone to stone

On this hunt
This deadly hunt
I wonder if I’ll die
And be dragged to depths below

They have come
Have always come
I’m fleeing like a hare
No safe place to call my home

Shaped of shadows
Always peering
Always leering
Always nearing
Wither shall I go?

©Aarron Mondello
28/3/2018

 

Spilled out of a Pen

 

I like to tell the tales
That come into my head
With pen, ink and typed out text
Or pencils filled with lead

I try to paint a picture
With words, what’s in my mind
And lay open my universe
To see what others find

I’d like you to come with me
I invite you free inside
I hope you accept
And for a time reside

Walk the lonely hallways
Traverse the magic lands
Fly through the far off skies
In dark forests I beg you stand

Ride to war with princes
See a mind of darkened thoughts
Walk a road to market towns
And witness battles that I fought

All that I have written
Comes from deep within
All my facts and fictions
Spilled out of a pen

©Aarron Mondello
16/3/2018

 

The Written Soul

 

The soul is wracked by coughing fits
Coloured ink splashed across the pages
Each drop joining with dead links
That stretch back through the ages

Ink swirled with tentative fingertips
Words and sounds revealed
The blood of pages arteries
Spread across a white, lined field

Curious questions and deepest thoughts
Strokes of purest grace
Woven there before my eyes
An intricate written lace

And when the coughing does subside
Leaving dream-ink spread with care
You’ll see the story’s soul therein
Open and laid bare

©Aarron Mondello
2/3/2018

Where I am

I took a break from writing, which means I did it less

Slipped a little into hiding, all my written words

I began to learn a new skill, to make my poems pop

Old and new I edit for an hour or two, and find I can not stop

I started up an Instagram, worked hard at sharing words

Gained a little following, by posting older verses

My audience is slowly going, but where my path is going

I have no real way of knowing, so I’ll just keep on rowing

Through this rainbow river of time, the one flows through all our minds

And keeps fresh creative juices flowing

©Aarron Mondello

28/2/2018

So, basically, I have taken the pen out of my ear and the scrap paper out of my pocket and spent a few weeks working on making my own backgrounds out of my own photos.

Not only to learn how and to make my writing more eye catching on other forums but also to make them more appealing in general .

I have a long way to go before I am actually good at editing my photos but I feel like its making a good difference.

I want to thank everyone who has ever read my words, or ever will. But especially I’d like to thank those of you that read everything I post. Your support has been astonishing.

I will still be posting here and soon it will be as regular as it ever was. But I’m taking just a little more time to work on the photos too.

In the meantime, feel free to follow my facebook page (link can be found on my profile) or my instagram aarronmondello.

Keep writing.

 

Lonely Roads of Galdenya: ch1

By Aarron Mondello

PENNED BY THE HAND OF FREGOR LANDSON, WANDERING SCRIBE AND POET.

I have spent a good portion of my many years traversing the back and forgotten roads of Galdenya, away from the cities of man.

A long and tiresome journey it has been yet I have relished in the discovery of it.

From the edge of The Frozen Wastes in the south and into the trees that make the beginning of the Taltyri Forrest many months travel to the north. Around to the Great Ocean in the east and through to the Mountains of La’Tail in the west, that no man in recorded history has seen beyond.

Many times I have made this journey via differing paths and routes and I would not be at all surprised to find that I have seen more of my beloved Galdenya than any who came before me.

I was much surprised to find, during my last visit to the Frozen Waste that there was water lapping the white shores proceeding the ice. Indeed, it appeared as though the ice is, for the first time in living memory, thawing. Though I could still see the blue expanse of it beginning a bare stones throw away from where I stood. But that is not a tale for the here and now.

Here in these pages I will attempt to organise and arrange my findings and adventures as I travelled the Lonely Roads of Galdenya.

 

FIRST STEPS

I was born to a small farming family just about two hours walk to the east of Galdawn, the shining sun of Galdenya and capital of the land.

From a young age I was “taken by flights of fancy and had not a head for the land”, as my da was fond of saying.

He loved me dearly, as did mama, but I was not built for farm life and caused them plenty of grief with my imaginative ways.

So much so that when came my 14th birthday and I announced to them, my two sisters and my four brothers that I wished to seek apprenticeship with the librarians in Galdawn they heartily agreed that would be for the best.

A week later came the day I would make the trip to the city and beg my place amongst the apprentices.

There were tears from mama, firm handshakes from da and my brothers and teasing from my sisters who believed I would return in less than a month with my tail between my legs.

They were very wrong.

I spent the customary three day period begging the Masters of Lore to allow me to join their ranks as apprentice.

On the third evening, as night fell, so too did my final hope. I would have to try again next year, but unless some accident or ill fortune culled the apprentices, I would not be accepted then either.

The sun was just a golden line above the horizon, the masters and Beggars alike had all left save for me. I stayed in the street on my knees and cursed my bad luck.

With barely a half of an hour  remaining before night fell and my time was up I became aware of a presence standing behind me.

I turned and was surprised to see an old man bent heavily over a walking cane with wisps of white hair clinging to his scalp. The real surprise was the silver chain around his neck with a thin thread of gold running up to his earlobe and joining a crystal stud pierced there.

This proclaimed him a Lore Master, but the poor cut of his white robes showed he did not fair well in his trade.

I began to stand, already deciding I would prefer the life of a farmer over serving a failed master in his dotage.

“Kneel boy!” he snapped in a tone that commanded obedience at once and I fell heavily back to my knees.

I stared up at him and he smiled down at me.

“Much better,” his voice had softened to something much more kindly. “What do you Beg here?”

“A-a-apprenticeship, Master,” I stammered, “with the the Lore Masters, the librarians.”

“Very well, apprenticeship you shall have. And your first task will be to help me home. My body tires and I’m not entirely certain I can make it unaided. Indeed, I almost missed the Begging due to this old body.”

“Forgive me master, but I wish apprenticeship with the libraries.”

“And so you shall have it, if you quit your prattling and follow, though maybe not in the library you choose.”

And with that he turned away and began to hobble up the road.

I stayed where I was, stunned and unsure what to do.

He made no more than a dozen steps when he tottered and fell hard on his bottom.

I leaped up and ran to him. He was laughing quietly when I reached him.

“There see, I knew you would listen, though slow to start. We’ll get that out of you yet,” he chuckled as I helped him to his feet.

There followed the longest walk I ever had. It felt longer even than all the miles I traversed alone through Galdenya in following years.

We made our way slowly through the streets of Galdawn. Fast emptying now the sun had set on the city. Which was to my liking. Helping the old man was a task in itself, crowds would only make it worse jostling us about as they no doubt would.

After more than an hour of frequent stops to let him rest and more than one occasion of him losing his balance and nearly falling we came finally to a large building of white marble. Unadorned in any way save for the great bronze door carved to look like a book and fashioned so expertly that when opened it appeared as though a large book was indeed being opened for a giant to read.

This I knew, by descriptions I had heard, was the Royal Library. The place where all matters pertaining to the royal bloodline were stored.

I feared the sanity of the old man was gone and opened my mouth to speak. Before I could the door was flung open and tall, stern faced woman came striding out.

Her dark hair hung loose about her shoulders and bobbed with each step. She stopped before the bent old man and inclined her head. He bowed as deeply as he could manage and then scowled at me when I didn’t follow his example.

Too late I noticed the royal crown embroidered down her sleeves and across the collar of her extravagant cold and blue gown.

“Master Gayle,” she spoke in a voice accustomed to command. “The hour is late and long have I waited here for your return.” She raised an eyebrow at me and I hastily fetched a bow, remaining bent in the hopes of undoing any offence I had caused.

“You highness, my queen, had I known you sought me I would have left a message. But as today was the last day of the Begging I had need to be in the city. My services are now at your disposal, highness.” Master Gayle spoke in a way that suggested he was familiar with the queen and she with him.

“Nay, I have found what I sought. I am glad to see you are unharmed, friend.”

“Unharmed save for the ravages of time, my lady,” Master Gayle chuckled, “and with an apprentice to boot!”

I felt the queen turn her gaze on me and quailed under her scrutiny.

“That is well, and past time. You do not grow younger Gayle,”

To my surprise she bent then and kissed the old man on his wrinkled forehead before sweeping past us followed by guards I had not noticed as they stood within library’s vast door.

Master Gayle turned to me and smiled, “Come lad. We shall get acquainted, you and I,” and he shuffled unaided into the cool interior of the Royal Library.

Here I shall skip many months that remain vivid in my memory and heart, though they do not bare over much on the tale of my travels. It was one full year and a half that I served under Master Gayle in the Royal Library, and many strange tales I read there.

Tales of creation and the Vor’Dalee, that fabled race who held the favour of the gods and yet were, in the end, spurned by them.

The tale of the Upstart Prince who murdered his father to claim a throne and then one day inexplicably denounced his claim and fled the kingdom. That one, according to dates, happened not many years before my birth and is a true accounting that I will not tell in full here. And many more besides.

Master Gayle and I became fast friends and even, forgive me da, built a relationship not unlike the closeness of father and son.

Many nights we spent awake till early hours, sitting by the fireplace and talking. Mostly I listened as he taught me the ways of the library or told me tales I had not yet read.

I grew to love the old Master and I am certain he loved me too.

Then, at the end of my first year under him, he fell very ill. He developed a fever one night though he showed no signs of sickness leading up to it. For 9 days I tended him until the fever broke and he spoke to me then of his family and the home he left in favour of the library. The scorn of a wife for leaving and fellow apprentices for being so much older than they, and a brother who disowned him and cared for Master Gayle’s family in his absence.

He spoke of his childhood and we laughed as it was revealed that his life was very much like mine.

The weight fell off his body and within two months he could no longer rise from bed.

I went to check on him one morning, half a year after his fever and found him sitting up in bed, a lap table laid across his knees holding quill, ink, parchment and a small vial of sand.

“Fregor,” he spoke to me in a hoarse whisper, “I will leave this life soon. I feel it in every bone, in every aching muscle. My time is coming.”

“Master Gayle,” I began but he cut me off with a sharp wave of his hand. “I wish I had not wasted my life away with these books of dead men and their tales.  This library cost me everything.”

“I thought you loved the library, Master Gayle,” I said to him.

“I do, lad. But now I am at the end of my days and see it was poorly traded when I took these books and scrolls over all the things I loved and could have loved, had I given myself the life to experience them.”

I did not know how to respond to that and so we sat in silence for a time. Eventually he dipped his quill and began to write, I took my leave.

Three days later, before midday, as I was organising my writing equipment in my pack there came a knock at my door.

“Come,” I called out and a woman named Elis opened my door.

Her eyes were puffy and red and she held a linen handkerchief bunched in one hand.

“Fregor, Master Gayle has passed,” straight to the point and it was a point that rocked me.

The world spun and I believe I blacked out for I have no recollection of how I came to be on my bed or where Elis had gone.

My mind was blank and my heart was sore.

I’m not entirely sure how but before lunch had come I was outside the city standing on the west bound highway.

I think even then I knew I would seek out Master Gayle’s estranged family.

 


This is a work on progress and a very rough draft, though I hope you enjoy it despite its (probable) many mistakes, bad grammar and poor layout. I would love to know your thoughts. 

Welcome to Galdenya.


Image

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/breakingmuscle.com/amp/healthy-eating/down-in-the-dirt-series-part-3-a-local-farm-and-the-city-slickers-who-run-it