An autumn beach scene at sunset

Dark Angels Note 163

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our Friday Note – our weekly collection of writerly thoughts.



Today marks the birthday of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (27 October 1914 – 09 November 1953).

Dylan wrote from a young age and was editor of his school magazine where he regularly contributed poems and prose.

Leaving school, he began a career in journalism, only lasting a year as a junior reporter at the South Wales Daily Post before quitting to focus on poetry more fully.

He went on to publish his first collection of poetry, 18 Poems, shortly after his twentieth birthday.



Amongst Thomas’s most famous works is the poem, Do not go gentle into that good night.

Watch Michael Sheen perform the poem for the National Theatre on YouTube.



Thomas is celebrated for his notebook writing. In fact, most of the poems that appear in 18 Poems and Twenty-five Poems can be traced back to drafts in his notebooks.

Look back to an earlier, unfinished piece of your own writing or an idea that you jotted down. Is there anything you can change or develop to bring it to life? How has the passage of time influenced how you perceive that writing now and the changes you make?

We’d love to see what you come up with if you’d like to share.



This week’s Sharing is from James Gregory, a regular at our Tuesday night Gatherings.


Halloween Sunset

James R. Gregory


A crisp and clear afternoon

The sun shines brightly through clouds

As it begins to set on the river

Its rays showcase the fall leaves

Of the trees along the banks


My silhouette stretches a mile

As I stroll the shoreline

Waving arms will extend my domain

From the water to the trees

Touching a deer with my shadow


The sun continues its journey

Within minutes it is setting

The moment of clarity is gone

The deer is now out of reach

My domain reduced to an arms-length


Without the sun the air quickly turns cold

A chill runs up my back

A cloud squeezes out a few raindrops

Goosebumps form on my arms

How quickly Halloween has turned spooky!


Keep sending us any poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family. We love to read them.




Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us again for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome – from the Dark Angels community and beyond. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance.


A journey into the Sahara, 19-26 November

This is our intrepid journey deep into the Sahara Desert. Jamie Jauncey and Neil Baker will meet you in Marrakech, and take you east into the Atlas mountains, about ten hours later arriving at a stunning desert retreat centre called Cafe Tissardmine. Find out more here.


Come to The Lab

Join Neil Baker for an afternoon of improvisation, spontaneous creativity, and gentle mucking about at The Lab, in London on Friday, December 1 for just £30+VAT. Tickets and more info here. They’re selling fast, so best to get yours quick.


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

From everyone at Dark Angels


Photo: Halloween Sunset, by James Gregory