The Writers’ Room

A weekly column featuring the work of Guyanese writers, both established and emerging.

The Wuss in the Wouse

Born into money he scarce knew how to keep Chubby and snarky and often a creep He fiddled and whittled all he had away On fast food, women and the golf he would play.

Illustration by Raimund Angelo

Another one for Mother Moon

By Jasmaine Payne Twenty minutes. That was how much time I had before the clouds would dissipate, unveiling the main attraction of this evening’s performance.

Shveta Thakrar

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar – Hindu cosmology as family drama

By Nikita Blair                 “My mother is a star, one of many bright jewels who sing praises in the skies, who view us from on high…She watches me now from her old throne, one more twinkle in the constellation Pushya, a figure as distant as the characters in the bedtime stories she once loved to tell me.

Illustration by Tahirih Gerrard

The Empty Rocking Chair

By Jamella Chesney  when the Matriarch dies She takes with Her the breath of the house   She takes with Her a generation a history a truth   She was a movement She mothered the village and fathered the farm   farewell to the voice that scolded the child  and consoled the broken farewell to the recipes i never cared to learn the stories She never told me   as i held Her in the final hour She had already gone cold the angels had gathered round stillness befell Her aura   then there were the cries guttural wails piercing the saturday sky like the horn of a ship with a broken compass pleading for a light in the horizon Her daughters held each other as if in utero as if muscle memory because now the cord hangs loose the branches become roots   the men draw words on the ground with their eyes the children panic   the light which had guided them beckons the Mother ship to the unearthly plains   when the Matriarch dies She leaves her trauma with a shattered lineage   as they wrapped Her in clean, white sheets Her rocking chair swayed in the breeze in the verandah overlooking the village that birthed Her   Dedicated to my dear granny, Cilene English nee Simon (3rd September, 1944 – 12th October, 2019)

Missed Connections

By Samaria Deonauth              He glanced around the sparsely occupied café, scanning the unfamiliar faces, but even the face he was searching for is unfamiliar.


Once upon a time, the world was bigger. And brighter. And better. Guyana was bigger too. A little brighter. A little better. It sat on the shoulder of what was then South America, which stretched out into what was then the Caribbean Sea.

Sweet Veins of Greed

                                                                  Sweet veins of sugar run deep within our skin Whipped and seared with striations of blood And salt-filled wounds, an indelible record Written on our backs A dark ink that runs through time Straight from our fore-parents’ pain History is not a past tense but a well-remembered thing Of toil and terror that bleeds into the present hours And addresses our soul with stories of monied greed That dripped from light, sugar-sweetened skins Those that clamped the chains, those that cracked the whips To brutish laughter and are risen yet again To entrap with new stories of gluttony and greed Wearing their thin disguise, wearing their blackened sheen That drills down through layers and layers of time To claim sweet veins of oil that rest unworried in the core beneath And we who once were hurt and who once felt the pain Have learned to profit from the loss And to profit from the gain And the massa-day avarice we once condemned and blamed We see in the mirror now garbed in full length And caught in full embrace of the very greed Of the very sweetened deals Now that we have signed our name Here on this dotted line that pushes past the past That pushes past the pain To reveal the grins, the skin-teeth open mouths Of the shiny, oil-slickened beings That we have become -Ryhaan Shah

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