As part of the Ghosts Project we have been running workshops at venues across Manchester, making use of the interviews and photographs the Project collected. The following is work written during some of these workshops.

A Slice

In a place where the sheep slept
And the dark spirally lanes crept,
There we kept
A generation’s sacred secret.
An unassuming place
Which the bass graced
Sharp and frequent
A loose waist or two –
In its panache.
Between the bedroom and the entrance
Brash outfits which lacked
Material, surely wrapped
In coats soon discarded,
With responsibility and care
The charged dance floor the target,
Feel electric in the air,
Expectant, heated glares
Just steps, no speech in there
A section of heaven
In dis living nightmare.

Dale E


I count the dues I’ve paid
But the return is non-existent
I turn and look at his then
To learn it’s all inconsistent

He whose dues’ roots
Lay astute and pure
Lead and stem to gifts galore
A floral life which causes awe

I paid my dues
Through suffering and flack
An attack of a past
My parents had

I paid my dues
While he just laughed
I’ve thought it through
Now I want them back

Dale E

Unidentifiable Human Race

I knew I was right
When I said there were aliens
But I’m not trying to stay
Seems their atmosphere is failing them
Some are orange, some are pale and then
There’s brown and black
Have they got a name for them?
Men are oh so strange
Some live in close range
But in another place
They live out of weapons’ range
And I say I come in peace
Fools try abducting me
With their primitive devices
That’s an insult to me
And how am I going to eat?
I don’t like any sandwiches
And how am I going to speak
When they use so many languages?
But with no rocket fuel
And no human cash
I’m stuck in MacDonald’s
Flipping burgers in the back.

Dale E

The Dervish Inn

In this battered caravanserai whose
doorways alternate night and day.
How seeker after seeker with his desires,
abides his hour or two and goes away.

Mint tea and delicious sweets,
served on silver trays.
We talk away the sorrows of
this thing and that yesterday.

The servants clear the tables,
to make room for the sacred pipe.
The hashish is ground expertly,
between the ghulam’s palms, heartedly

The chillum is filled with the precious leaves,
the crown is lit crimson red.
We pass the sheesha round,
the ancient ritual begins.

The fragrance of paradise is in the air,
the place one step away.
As I recline on the silk brocade couch
the wide eye maidens enter and cast their spell.

These harem creatures of beauty sway their charms,
I am a soul bewitched, journeying towards ecstasy,
intoxicated, touched by their poisoned lips,
leave me and let me be, till the dawn arrives.

Afzaal K