Dark Angels Note 46

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

Consider a problem or idea you’re currently struggling with; it could be something personal to you or an event that’s popped up in the news over the last few days. Try freewriting the advice from a mentor or elder that will help you see your way through.


2 Reading


You know how, after it rains,
my father told me one August afternoon
when I struggled with something
hurtful my best friend had said,
how worms come out and
crawl all over the sidewalk
and it stays a big mess
a long time after it’s over
if you step on them?

Leave them alone,
he went on to say,
after clearing his throat,
and when the rain stops,
they crawl back into the ground.

Dan Gerber
From Sailing through Cassiopeia, Copper Canyon Press, 2012.


When I Am Asked

When I am asked
how I began writing poems,
I talk about the indifference of nature.

It was soon after my mother died,
a brilliant June day,
everything blooming.

I sat on a gray stone bench
in a lovingly planted garden,
but the day lilies were as deaf
as the ears of drunken sleepers
and the roses curved inward.
Nothing was black or broken
and not a leaf fell
and the sun blared endless commercials
for summer holidays.

I sat on a gray stone bench
ringed with the ingenue faces
of pink and white impatiens
and placed my grief
in the mouth of language,
the only thing that would grieve with me.

Lisel Mueller
From Alive Together: New and Selected Poems, Louisiana State University Press, 1996.

Thanks to Tim Rich for suggesting this poem be included in today’s note.


3 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.


4 Workshopping

We’re now taking bookings for our online Starter Day on 9th June (with Elen and Gillian in the tutor hotseats). Playing with techniques in storytelling, tone of voice and more, this will be a creative day of practical exercises and informal discussion in a small group of 6-8 people.


5 Celebrating

Hearty congratulations to Dark Angel Susannah Hart for having her poem, ‘Song of my auntie’ commended in this year’s National Poetry Competition. Susannah won the Prize last year; a triumph indeed to be commended in a consecutive year. Listen to Susannah read her wondrously musical poem here. It’s a treat. Brava Susannah!

From everyone at Dark Angels


Also published on Medium.