Dark Capital

Today I completed production on my audiobook for Dark Capital by Helen Susan Swift, and I have to say, this was a real pleasure to record. I feel I have been very fortunate in my audiobook productions, being hired to perform novels that I really love from Laya V Smith, Suzanne Rogerson, Zach Abrams, and Malcolm Archibald, among others. I first encountered Helen Susan Swift when I listened to the audiobook for her The Malvern Mystery, which was a lot of fun to listen to, so well narrated by Melanie Crawley. I had no idea at the time of listening to that fine mystery that I would get a chance to perform Swift’s Dark Capital, set in 1820s Edinburgh and inspired by the legends of the twisted warlock Thomas Weir. It was the perfect blend of mystery, supernatural, dramatic, and sinister. I loved it! I hope you’ll give it a listen when it comes available on Audible (probably in a month or so). In the meantime, here is a SAMPLE you can listen to to whet the appetite.

the wisdom of stones

no, you speak not a word to me,
not a sound comes forth
beyond your suggestive silence

without pattern or pretence
defensive you stand,
solemn sentinel of centuries past

the wisdom of ancient stone
is broadsome and bold
molding the land into clans

shaping history with mysteries
untold and untoward
whispered by simpering spirits

who demand, why are you here
what beckons you thus
unencumbered by all that we have seen

I fall to my knees, pleased to bow,
for all that I am derives
my dearly departed, from you

the Grey Cairns of Camster, the Highlands (May 2015)

Leviathan: The Gloaming, Book 1

As audiobook narrator George Ellington, I am very happy to share my newest audiobook offering: Leviathan, a Scottish inspired fantasy of political and clan intrigue in a medieval setting. Available on Amazon/Audible at https://www.audible.com/pd/Leviathan-Audiobook/B08SJ9SY77 “From debut fantasy author D.G. MacRath, Leviathan is the first part of the Gloaming trilogy. Set in the Scotland-inspired Realm, MacRath begins his tale of broken heroes, rich mythology, and brutal civil war. A generation after a bloody civil war, Mata rules as Prince Regent. Shorn of the Crown’s authority, he wrestles to maintain an uneasy peace among his people. Will his choices maintain order or send the Realm spiraling toward yet more vicious bloodshed?” If anyone is interested in a free download code from Audible and would be willing to offer a review, please let me know.

voices

I recall the many voices
that sounded my childhood days
some in such lyrical fashion,
others with weightier authority—
those of my father, my mother,
brother, friends, even strangers—
and I would repeat them all
mimicking accents when alone
and safely unheard by others,
unheard and less likely to be mocked,
challenging notions of speech
and strictly defined identity,
never feeling quite comfortable
with being a singular voice.

Even now, I explore voices
while sharing them professionally
with others for pleasure.
Yet the one voice that must always
define me in accordance with
my own wishes is that of
my mother’s homeland,
land of the Stewarts and Bruces,
the Blairs, McConnells, Kennedys,
MacDonalds, Oliphants, Campbells,
McCandlesses, McWhirters, Hepburns,
and so many more clans besides
whose bloodlines still flow
in these aging veins of mine,
finding expression in the plethora
of pleading, playful voices
my heart endearingly speaks.

You are my past
and my future,
and to you all I say
tapadh leibh,
mo theaghlach.

this me

These thoughts slant too often
in most dismal descent
forgoing even the very occasional
allure of simple pleasure.

But then
what of it?

So I am addicted to complexity
and the illusion it offers
of a life less banal and the
hope of being somehow special.

What of it
I ask you?

Is it so very odd that a man
might wish to be more than he is
and reach heights
thus far unimaginable?

Have you not
thought so yourself?

I live a life of persistent
domesticity unadorned by awards
or praise or shining stars
awaiting only a dram at night.

You know what I mean,
don’t you?

It is not that I love any less
the companion who shares my life
or the weans who bring joy
to my heart every day.

It’s just so hard to love
this ridiculous me.

At John O’ Groats, Scotland (May 2015)

echoes

i can still hear their needful echoes
rising up the steps
flowing over the stained walls

i think perhaps they are laughing
i hope they are
although sometimes they shout at me

and when i trembling reach out
to listen, to feel
more deeply than ever before

i notice the path is still broken
and shards remain
untended by even the smallest hands

From Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh (May 2015)

forever free

how deceptive it can seem
these voices raised passionately
persistently clamoring to be heard
yet by nature ephemeral always
the sound fading all too quickly
the words falling like flakes
of snow melting into the pavement
another day goes swiftly by
another month another year
time plods on plowing under
the once forceful hopeful
aspirations expressed by these
our eager needful voices

but know ye this

our most truthful desire survives
in striving form not just of word
but of most courageous deed
for that is the backbone of us
actions that ensure the reverent
willful life of this national hope
actions that define this people
as strong and sure and right
actions that stand against
the appalling avarice of others
and so may the ages honest verify
the beating heart of this nation
in word and deed to be forever free