Poet Feature: Ayl (Oil) Massa by Gabrielle Mohamed

Updated: Aug 20

"Gabrielle Mohamed’s poem is a wild and strident condemnation of colonialism and neo-colonialism — riddled with warnings about Guyana’s potentiality for oil. The Creolese used in the poem is rich and ripe with the rhythms of everyday Guyanese speech. The language is complemented by the poet’s use of well thought out imagery, mythology, and structure. “Ayl (Oil) Massa” is a postcolonial work that contains several layers of ideas that lend themselves well to interrogation and critical thought."

- Alim Hosein and Subraj Singh, Judges, Republic Bank Open Poetry Competition, The Guyana Annual 2018 Magazine


Gabrielle Elizabeth Mohamed, is a Creole poet employing her country's native vernacular and post-colonialist notion within her work in the hopes of avoiding a resurrection and resuscitation of the colonialist touchstones. To keep up with Gabrielle's creations, follow her on Insta @mohamedgabrielle


Ayl (Oil) Massa by Gabrielle Mohamed won 3rd prize in the Republic Bank Open Poetry Competition, The Guyana Annual 2018 Magazine.


Ayl (Oil) Massa

Gabrielle Mohamed


Dey de cum wid dey fancy fancy Degree,

An dress-up in wan prim an propa suit

An dey fertilize de sayl (soil) a abi Red Muddah

Wid de blood a me own own family.

5 Yet, sheh de kan do noten.

Instead, sheh de had ta stay still,

Observin dem rape sheh

Mekin wat meh chill-dren

Gon come fah kno as Colonialism,

10 De chile a Sin an de Devil: Chaos.

De Devil slidah ovah de mud flats ah me Pradash,

An into ta de rivahz a meh bruddahz from Africa.

Im tek meh people, snatchin dem like wan shaow dat hungry.

An ee sen son, Chaos, ta cast wan false spell ah freedom

15 Pun desprate people starving fah librety.

Suh wid wan smirk

Pun ee face, ee inject abi wid de ability

Ta submit ta dey sin,

While dey picknee, Chaos,

20 Well ee now pollute abi psyche.

De ayl dacta de seh:

The value measures in Guyana will increase the quality of life,

And promote your green state agenda.

In fact, through stable growth the country will continue to prosper,

25 But TRUST AND TRANSPARANCEY IS NECESSARY.

Green state genda meh ass, an

As fah dah increase a

Value measures, iz pure sk**t.

Ayl bussin out ah colonial Guyana?

30 Ehh ehh, well, fan-f**k*n-tastic Guyana.

Now all abi iz wan cola, de egzact shade an grade a povertee.

Yah kno man, iz de sweet greyin flakez dat settle from dem ayl rigz.

Now tell meh, yah eva wach ow ee doz fall pun de fadin sayl?

Eva see ow ee touch dos f*ck up de lungz a de people a de free nation?

35 Ayl iz like dis carcinoma dat dos divide an mek,

Wan fat tuma pun de walls a yah lungz, forcing yuh fah gasp fah toxic air.

Ee dos wrap ee bodiee arroun yah bronchi an crush yah alveoli, mekin yah lungz

Ovaflow wid de sweet, smooth tase a death, made by yuh lovely ayl dacta.

Buh, iz caktail hour, ah guess, an de middle man gat ta pay de price.

40 Fost waz de crechas a abi Red Mudddah fah jain abi ancestors

Livin in de army a de undead. Den was people a de free nation.

Wan nashion a people ta recolonize wance again,

But is jus Trust and Transparency, right ayl dacta?

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