Dark Angels Note 41

Dearest friends,

Welcome back to our writerly thoughts to distract, inspire and reassure you. Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..


1 Writing

Read the poem below by serial rulebreaker, ee cummings. Consider all the ways he disregards conventions in punctuation, language, spacing, structure, rhyme and metre. Next, reread the poem, but this time look for traditional poetic techniques. How many can you spot?

Now find a poem (or short work) that you’ve already written. Create another version where you throw out the rule book. Play with lawbreaking techniques and see how each new act of anarchy changes the shape and feeling of your piece.


2 Reading 

[in Just-]

in Just-

spring          when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman


whistles          far          and wee


and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it’s



when the world is puddle-wonderful


the queer

old balloonman whistles

far          and             wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing


from hop-scotch and jump-rope and










balloonMan          whistles




ee cummings


3 Sharing


Tell me
what were those gold bright
gold light words
I can still see their glow on you

Don’t tell me
It’s that angel, whispering
You, listening
Me with no words, longing

Lee Ryan wrote this poem in response to a reading of Denise Levertov’s poem ‘Interim’ at our Tuesday night gathering.



I miss your smile, already
I miss your smile.
A smile is what makes us human.

A smile makes us what we are
when we are most
what we are.

I smile at animals but
they don’t smile back at me.
A smile is a moment shared.

A smile cannot live in dead stone
or a flat canvas, but
a photograph captures the moment.

A smile is what makes us alive.
I look at your photograph and know
that I will always miss your smile.

John Simmons


 4 Gathering

Join us via Zoom for an hour of writing and talking with other Dark Angels. We meet at 7pm UK time every Tuesday. Click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on. There’s no charge. And feel free to bring a friend along.



We’re adding new writing experiences to our calendar all the time. Here’s a quick recap.

Starter Days
Join us on either March 3rd or June 9th. Even if you’ve been before, these are playful and lively ways to refresh creative energy and sharpen skills. Find out more here.

Advanced Course
Throughout April, Jamie Jauncey and Richard Pelletier be leading a guided journey into language and storytelling with live online sessions. Details here.


From everyone at Dark Angels

Also published on Medium.