Gabrielle E Mohamed_ Iz abi Calabash an i

Once upon a time,
In the land of the Holy Mother,
The children of the
Living dead
And
Dead living
Congregated under
The comfort of the benab
In the village of St Ignatius,
The heart and lung
Of our Red Mother.

Out
Into the cover of the midnight decay,
Catches your eyes in de spider’s web
Trapping the jewels of the heaven’s tear drop.
As the rumbling in the land whips
A coolness down the spine
That makes your old-lee bones shiver.

This, boy look, this is the gasp, of a dying woman.
And for all of them who listen,
And for who really-really listen,
They will know
She is dying.

And,
It’s from the first drop of blood
That fell,
Echoing in the one-time
Lush green blades of the forest floor,
Sweating her sweet-sweet dew water.

Bawling and begging,
As she watched
Her free children fight and fight.
Murder and kill for what?
A fight for power, not
To control her land and her gifts
That started to poison her,
Flooding the heart of the land in the heat of sin,
Poisoning her, until the lush green forest
Bleeds out, until she’s dry
And flying on the wings of death.

It’s our footsteps that tread softly
Into the foundations of this
Holy Red Mother.

Squish, squash, Tap and tap
And my footprint
Marrying the red clay of her
Holy spirit,
Baptizing my broken covenant.

Cause,
It’s the first-first time,
Since the bigtime talks of freedom
And dreams of nationhood,
That all-all of her children
Of the 9 Nations,
And the 4 parish clusters
Are gathered together
Here, as one people
Of the free nation.

And, no buhday, it’s not
The Colonial Guiana
Or the Colonial Guyana
But Guyana, land that we see free,
And breathe free.
That not
Even one shadow
Of the Master’s madness
Or his fantasy that was saved up
By the demons in their meat suite,
That teaches my people
To be less like the self,
And more like the other.

No more demons to continue
Preaching the Master’s attitude.
No more genie in the bottle
Granting desperate people
Wishes for their souls.

No more whispering
Vibrating in my skull,
Piercing me with their fangs:
Kill them, stupid girl, kill them!
In this land, it’s kill or be killed.

You’re behaving stupidly!
Nothing’s going to change,
Too many people are dead,
And who made it out alive,
are savage for blood.
Us demons,
We get so hungry,
For fresh blood.

Come to me, my little one,
Come to me,
COME!

But not today
Today the silence,
Is just pure silence
Flirting with my
Patchy-patchy soul

With my calabash
Clasped in my hand.

Today it’s just Man and Land,
Nation and Hybridity
Unexisting by existing in
The waterscape of the Rupununi tears.
A dream that becomes a reality
In de burial ground of our ancestors

Men and women
From the
Native civilization,
The Congo family
And the labors
Of the kali pani,
They who
Fought and died,
Punishing and crying
Sacrificing for me,
And my nation’s freedom.
And yes it’s them who will
Save my soul one last time.

Instead of the Master’s madness
I saw
All of my brothers and sisters,
Eyes overwhelming my core

With love and forgiveness.
Men and women that made
My blood dance in belonging,
From the Wai-Wai
Carib
Macushi
Wapishana
Waru
Patamona
Arawak
Awkaio
And Arecuna Nations smiling
In one hummed-up tune
Of spirituality, that made a field
Of protection around the benab.

Banishing any lingering shadow or demon
That is hungry to sink his teeth into
The flesh and soul of the Red Mother’s children.

No boy,
Not tonight.
Tonight, we
Are just free children
Coming back home
To their mother.

Shh, sh…shh

Wish, sh… shh

/Eye-ta-kong, Eye-ta-kong/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kooong/
/Eye-ta-kong, Eye-ta-kong/
155 /EE-nah Eye-ta-kooong/
/Eye-ta-kong, Eye-ta-kong/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kooong/

/Mah-koh-shea, Mah-koh-shea/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kong/
160 /Mah-koh-shea, Mah-koh-shea/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kong/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kong/

Bury deep in the roots of the
Holy Red Mother,
165 One child is born,
Seraphina, the daughter
of the Red Mother

We believe in one God,
The Father, the Almighty,
Maker of the
Heaven and the Red Mother,

Born from the land
And blessed by the
Holy Spirit
A gift that came
To the land of the
Dead living.

We believe in One Lord,
Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,

From the
Dust of the palm oil
Tears of the
Calabash,
And blood of her

Forgotten children, living in the graveyard of the forgotten

Seraphina’s soul was formed.

From the dust you come,
And to dust you shall
Go Home.

Woven in the center
Of the benab,
Was the
Anthropomorphic profile
Of who, I came to know
Was the dying
Seraphina,
Daughter of the Red Mother.

Come closer, children

Was this voice
Of aged beauty
Like wind being spun through
The thickness of the trees
Or the leaves,
On a windy day.

All of my children,

My heart, though broken, is happy
Of this gathering.

My time on this Plane,
Is coming to an end,
But I know, I know
You all are going to be okay
As each one of you all have
My soul embedded
In your hearts.

Take this red antatu paste.
Draw on your face
The branches of my heart,
The leaf of my soul,
The roughness of my calabash
And you shall live forever.

This is your symbol
Of my discipleship.

Guyanese Creolese Original Version

Wance ah pun ah time,
In de lan ah de Olee Muddah,
De pickneez ah de
Livin dead
An
Dead livin
De kan-gee-gate undah
De comfort ah de benab
In de village ah St Ignatius,
10 De art an lung
Ah abi Red Muddah.

Out
Inta de covah ah de midnight decay,
Ketch yah eye in de spidah’s webz
Trapin dem jewelz ah de eaven’z tear drap.
Az de rumblin in de land wipz
Wan coolness down de spine
Dah mek ya ol-lee bonez dem shivah.

Diz, bai look, diz iz de gasp ah wan deadin woman.
An fah all ah dem oo doz lisen,
An fah oo doz really-really lisen,
Dem gon noh
Sheh deadin.

An,
Iz from de fos drop ah blood
Dah fah fall,
Echooin in de wan time
Lush green bladez ah de fahres floor,
Sweatin sheh sweet -sweet dew wata.

Bawlin an behgin,
Az sheh de wach
Sheh free picknee dem fight an fight.
Murdah an kill fah wah?
Iz fight fah powah, nah
Ta control sheh lan an gif dem,
Dat start tah poison sheh,
Flooding de art ah de lan in de eat ah sin,
Poisonin sheh, till de lush green fahres
Bleedout till sheh dry
An flyin pun de wingz ah deadin.

Iz abi footstepz dah tred saflee
Inta de foundashionz ah diz
Olee Red Muddah.

Squish, squash, Tap ah tap
An meh footprint
Marreein de red clay ah sheh
Olee spirit,
Baptizin meh bruk up covenan.
Cahz,
Iz de fos-fos time,
Since dem bigtime talkz ah freedom
An dreamz ah nashion-ood,
Dah all-all ah sheh picknee
Ah dem 9 Nashionz,
An dem 4 parish clustahz
De gahdah togetdah
Hay, az wan people
Ah de free nashion.

An, no buhday, iz nah
De Colonial Guiana
Or de Colonial Guyana
Buh Guyana, lan ah we see free,
An breade free.

Dat nat
Eveen wan shadow
Ah de Massa madness
Or ee fantasee dah de gea save-up
By ee demonz dem in dey meat suite
Dah dos teach meh people
Ta be like less like de self,
An mo like de other.

No mo demonz ta continue
Preachin de Massa attitude.
No mo geenee in de bahcle
Grantin desperate people
Wishez fah dem soul.

No mo whisperin
Vibratin in meh skull,
Piercin meh wid dem fangz:
Kill am, stupid gurl, kill am!
In diz lan, iz kill ah be kill.
Like yah dey pun nan-sense
Noten nah ah change,
Too much people dead,
An oo mek it out alive,
Dem savage fah blood.
Abi demonz diz,
Abi doz be suh ungy
Fah fresh blood.

Come ta me, meh lil wan,
Come ta meh,
COME!

Buh nat taday.
Taday de silence,
Iz just pure silence
Flirting wid meh
Patchiee-patchiee soul

Wid meh calabash
Clasp in meh an.

Taday iz jus Man an Lan,
Nashion an Eyebridity
Unexiztin by exiztin in
De waterscape ah de Rupununi tearz.
Dreamz dah become wan reality
In de berryin groun ah abi ancestahz

Men an women
From de
Native civilization,
De Congo family
An de labahz
Ah de kali pani,
Dem oo
Fight an dead,
Punishin an cryin
Sacrifice fah me,
Me an de meh nashion freedom.
An yes iz dem oo gon
Save meh soul wan las time.

Instead ah de Massa madness
Ah de see
All
Ah meh brudahz an sistaz,
Eyez overwhelm meh core
Wid love and fahgiveness.
Men an women dah mek
Meh blood dance in belongin,
From de Wai-Wai
Carib
Macushi
Wapishana
Waru
Patamona
Arawak
Awkaio
An Arecuna Nashionz smilin
In wan um-up tune
Ah spirituality, dah mek a field
Ah protecshion ahround de benab.

Baneshin any lingerin shadow or demon
Dah ungy fah sink ee teet inta
De flesh an soul ah de Red Muddah picknie.

Nah bai,
Nat tanite.
Tanite, abi
Iz juz free chilren
Comin back ome
Ta dem muddah.

Shh, sh, shh
Wish, sh, shh

/Eye-ta-kong, Eye-ta-kong/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kooong/
/Eye-ta-kong, Eye-ta-kong/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kooong/
/Eye-ta-kong, Eye-ta-kong/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kooong/

/Mah-koh-shea, Mah-koh-shea/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kong/
/Mah-koh-shea, Mah-koh-shea/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kong/
/EE-nah Eye-ta-kong/

Berry deep in de rootz ah de
Olee Red Muddah,
Wan chile de barn,
Seraphina, de daughta
Ah de Red Muddah.

Abi beleeve in wan Gad,
De Faddah, de Allmitee,
Make-ah de
Eaven an de Red Muddah,

Barn from de lan
An bless by de
Olee Spirit

Wan gif de come
Ta de lan ah de
Dead livin.

Abi beleeve in wan Lard
Jesus Christ,
De only Son ah Gad,

From de
Dus ah de pam ayl
Tearz ah de
Calabash,
An blood ah sheh
Fagotten picknee, livin in de graveyard ah de fagotten
An Seraphina soul de gea farm.

From de dus yah come,
An dus yuh shall
Guh Ome.

Ooven in de centah
Ah de benab,
Waz de
Anthropomorphic profile
Ah oo, meh de come fah noh,
Waz de dyin,
Seraphina,
Daughta ah de Red Muddah.

Come closa, chilren

Waz diz vaice
Ah age-up beauty
Like wind bein spun thru
De thickness ah dem trees
Or dem leavez,
Pun wan windy day.

All ah meh chilren,
Meh art, tho bruk-up, iz appy
Ah iz gahderin.

Meh time pun diz Plane
Iz fah end,
Buh meh noh, meh noh
Ayo gon be okay
Az each wan ah y’all gea
Meh soul embedded
In ayo artz.

Tek diz red antatu paste.
Draw pun yah face
De branchez ah meh art,
De leaf ah meh soul,
De ruffness ah me calabash
An yuh shall live fahevea.

Diz iz yah symbol
Ah my discipleship.

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Gabrielle E. Mohamed
Gabrielle E. Mohamed is a 25-year-old Guyanese writer who graduated from the University of Guyana in June 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English- Linguistics. As an emerging Creole poet, Gabrielle believes that the employment of her Guyanese space is essential in facilitating a breakdown and breakthrough process that will allow us to find our true selves that is devoid of any colonial touch. Thus her writing style attempts to capture the continual influence of colonial and postcolonial attitudes and behaviors within the lives of her countrymen. Moreover as a Catholic individual, it is her testimony that through the introduction of her Christian faith the escape of these colonial touches are possible, and will also enable us to establish the solid grounds of nationhood that will not force anyone into a state of being unhomed, but allow us to accept our fate as hybrid individuals of the Caribbean.

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