Dark Angels Note 100

Dearest Friends,

Welcome to our 100th Dark Angels Note – 30 better than a platinum jubilee!

Wow. Elen Lewis wrote the very first edition back in March 2020. To celebrate this landmark, here are a few snippets we’ve enjoyed along the way. We’ll being changing up the format of the weekly note in a few weeks time. For now, switch your dial to reflective mode and relax…


Introduction from Dark Angels Note 1

We’ve decided to start sending you a weekly note with writerly thoughts to distract, inspire and reassure you. If you’re feeling worried and unsettled by what’s happening in the world, we hope this weekly dose will help a little.


Sharing from Dark Angels Note 10

To steal the light, and hide it in a flower.
What untold grace, to possess that power.
And yet, I have that power, too.
Turning single cells into two; then two
Times two; twice more – and so the story goes
Of a daily miracle, of which no one knows
The secret code. The language of creation:
We speak it not, yet in unconscious action
We all possess this that we cannot understand.
Confused, we create. Together, we stand
United in ignorance, in hope, in love,
In awe of the light shining down from above.

Rowena Roberts wrote this response to a poem by Alice Oswald in a writing exercise during a weekly Zoom gathering.


Writing Prompt from Dark Angels Note 46

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.


Reading from Dark Angels Note 63

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

James Wright
From Selected Poems. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005.


Writing advice from Dark Angels Note 67 

“Suppress the part of you that matters most and you might just suppress the miracle.”
Joan and Kate Newmann, Summer Palace Press.

“Only persist.”
Guess who? The inimitable JS that’s who!

“You can’t design from a vacuum.”
From one of my university lecturers. Similarly, you can’t write if you don’t read.

Therese Kieran


When you get stuck from Dark Angels Note 71 

Write a letter. Once I get the address down: To Whom It May Concern and the salutation: Dear Madam, I am writing. I can discuss what I am stuck on or simply forget that I’m stuck and natter away about nothing in particular.

Faye Sharpe


A Desert Island Book from Dark angels Note 88

The best reason to not be on Desert Island Discs is to avoid this question! However, I’m going to go with Moby Dick. It’s ill-structured, majestic, maddening, inspiring, often boring, beautifully written, overlong, sensitive, soaring and, crucially, unforgettable. In decades of reading books, it’s one of the few to have imprinted itself in my mind and heart.

Martin Lee



Save the Date for Aracena: We are Nature
This September (23rd – 28th), Neil Baker and Gillian Colhoun  will be returning to Finca El Tornero del Rebollar. Everyone is welcome – no need to have previously attended a Dark Angels course. This will be about connecting with ourselves, one another and the earth that sustains us. We’ll send an email with more details early next week. 


An Article by John Simmons
John has written an article on The Value of Writing for  Societyan academic journal co-edited by Dark Angel, Johnny Lyons. It’s excellent so feel free to read and share on your networks.


Weekly Tuesday Gatherings
Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, 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. 

Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.. 

From everyone at Dark Angels


Also published on Medium.