Poetry by Gabrielle Elizabeth Mohamed: Welcome To The Garden of Eden

Poetry by Gabrielle Elizabeth Mohamed: Welcome To The Garden of Eden


Editor’s Note: This poem was originally written in the poet’s native Guyanese Creole. She has graciously translated it for our readers in English (the original Guyanese Creole follows) and provided some insight into what translation is like for her.


Welcome To The Garden of Eden

(English Translation)

Bare hands and knees bent,
Sprinkle the pixie dust
Of your soul.

Fine, red magic
Buried in the garden.
Bring cold, red-black water
From fifth avenue river,
And the undead will survive.

From the land of sin and rape,
The Garden of Eden was created

Marzana Chanderbhan,
The ghost living
In my dead-up soul.

     This land here Babel,
     She deserves love.
     Love from the fruit
     Of her ancestor’s daughters

Whispered my mama
With her hands deep
In the soil
Lang blue duster stain with the
Tears of her Red Muddah,
And sweat from her body
Nursing the soul of the
Red Muddah.
And in return the Red Mudda
Will protect your dusting womb.

     Give her the love,
She yearns,
And in a tiny voice
Mama whispered in my ears:
     Do this, and Salvation is yours,
     My dear.

Huddled under
The giant pear tree,
The memory of Mama’s voice flutter
Through the symphony
Of the sunbeams,
D minor concierto.

Our family Babel,
We were baptized with the
First grains of the Garden of Eden.
Before them white demons
Crass our land
And burnt our people
In the burring ground
Of forgotten nations.

Under this soil here,
Strives the soul of
Our Red Muddah.
And with her spirit
All tragedies will heal.

So kneel into her bosom
And wipe them stray tears, baba.
From the death of your womb,
The undead shall live.

Remove the fertilizer,
Erase the whispers
That mutters from the shadows.

Watch the unwoman.
Look, and see this dysfunctional
Thing walking with pride.
And who will want to marry
Her now, ehh?

And the black smoke of decay
Will excorzie itself.

In the cemetery
Of my womb,
The formless figure
Of sin twirls in the black
Smoke of decay.

Small movements
Of this demon
Replace the kicks
Of God’s good children.

It is cold and stiff
With rigamortis,
The dead in me
Eating my soul.

From the deadness
In your uterus,
Inhale the spirit
Of your unbirthed children
And let them grow.
Marinade their souls
With the essence of your being
And they shall truly live.

Break the wall of stillness
In your ovaries,
And sing the Halejuhia
Of their names.
Demetrius and Marana.
These names that will
Never grace their own blue lips
Are now clinging
To the light
Of Christ.



Welcome Ta De Garden Ah Eden

(Original Guyanese Creole)

Bare anz an kneez ben,
Sprinkle de piksee dus
A yuh soul.

Fine red magic
Burri in de garden.
Brin cole, red black wata
From fif ave rivah,
An de undead gon suhvive.

From de lan a sin an rape,
De garden a Eden
Gea create

Marzana Chanderbhan,
De ghost livin
In meh dead-up soul.

     Dis lan hea Babel,
     Ee deservez love.
     Love from de fruit
     A ee ancestors’ pickniee

Wispa meh mama
Wid sheh anz deep
In de sah-oil.
Lang blue dustah stain wid de
Tearz a abi red muddah,
An sweat from sheh body
Nursein de soul a de
Red mudda.
An in return de red mudda
Gon protect sheh dustin womb.

     Give am de love,
Sheh yearnz,
An in wan tiny vaice
Mama wispah in meh earz:
     Do dis, an Salvashion iz yourz,
     Meh dear.

Hudle unda
De jaint pear tree,
De memory a Mama’z vaice flutta
Thru de symphonie
A de sunbeamz,
D minior concierto.

Abi family Babel,
Abi baptize wid de
Fos grain a de garden
A Eden.
Befoe dem white demonz
Crass abi lan
An bun up abi people
In de burrin groun
A fagetten nashionz.

Unda dis sah-oil hea,
Strivez de soul a
Abi red muddah.
An wid sheh spirit
All tradgey gon heal.

Suh neel into sheh bossom
An wipe
Dem stray tearz, baba.
From de death
a yuh womb,
De undead shall live.

Remove de fertilizah,
Eraze dem whispas
Dat mutter from de shadowz.

Wach de unwoman.
Look, see dis dysfunctional
Thing walkin wid pride.
Iz who
Gon wah marri she now, ehh?

An de black smoke a decay
Gon  excorzie eeself.

In de cemetry
A meh womb,
De formless figah
A sin twirl in de black
Smoke a decay.

Small movementz
A dis demon
Replace de kicks
A God’s good children.

It is cole an stiff
Wid rigamortiz,
De dead in meh
Eatin meh soul.

From de deadness
In yah uterus,
Inhale de spirit
A yuh unbirted pickniez
An leh dem grow.
Marinade dem soul
Wid de essence a yuh being
An dey shall truly live.

Break de wall ah stillness
In yah ovaries,
An sing de Halejuhia
A dey namez.
Demetrius an Marana.
Dez namez dat yuh
Nevah gon brace
Dey own blue lipz
Dey now clingin
Ta de light
Ah Christ

Break de wall ah stillness
In yah ovaries,
An sing de Halejuhia
A dey namez.
Demetrius an Marana.
Dez namez dat yuh
Nevah gon brace
Dey own blue lipz
Dey now clingin
Ta de light
Ah Christ

Author notes about the poem & translation

My name is Gabrielle Elizabeth Mohamed and I am a 26-year-old Guyanese Creole writer with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English–Linguistics.

In the dreamless[ness] of a short, mixed, curly-headed child, De Red Muddah – the personified identity of our land and waterscape – whispered into my ear her vision to dissolve the perpetuated colonial and postcolonial ideologies. In her monologue, she explained how to generate a breakdown and breakthrough process that will allow us to find our true selves that are devoid of any colonial touches. Thus, my writing style seeks to capture the continual influence of colonial and post-colonial attitudes and behaviors within the lives of my countrymen. I make a point of integrating this language system within each of my poems in the hopes of spreading its validity and increasing its prestige within the eyes of my countrymen.

Consequently, “Welcome to the Garden Of Eden”or “Welcome ta de Garden ah Eden” is a womanist heartbreak recovering from the loss of her undead babies. This poem actively engages the employment of our Red Muddah to heal the soothing ache of the person’s loss whose children are now clinging to the light of Christ.

But how do you read the patterns of history written in my words? Well, it’s simple, really it is. Step one, we need to spread those vowels and pitch each word as it’s spelt. Please don’t choke these units of articulation or round them; my Creole units of speech reveal the multicultural diversity of my Guyanese[ness]. Step two, read with attitude, laugh a bit then proceed to assume the distraught hurt of my persona. Finally Step 3, enjoy the utterances of a purely unique and unheard love.

Frankly speaking, translating this love of mine feels like I’m cheating. Like a heart that is slowly being pulverized, I feel like I’m lost and in the land of the unseen. Thus, it forces us to a long-distance relationship, but somehow I remember the voice of my Red Muddah, and she takes me home to the red-black rives of my veins and savagely free, wild bush buried within the chambers of my soul.

However, I have come to the realization that I may be forced to translate some of my work or write completely in the Standard normative, boring and plain as it is. But it’s okay, this is who I am and never will I run from her. As I’ve said before, I want my county’s Creole to be seen and heard whilst emphasizing its relevance and prestige.

With this being said all that’s left to express are my joy and love from Caribbean Guyana. May you witness another dynamic of my people’s realization. Feast your eyes, taste, and bones for something…unexpected.

Sincerely from a Creole Poet,
Gabrielle Mohamed