NOORMOHAMED

Every artist is a cannibal/ every poet is a thief/ all kill their inspiration/ and sing about their grief/ over love It’s been the best of times, it’s been the best of times. I’m writing this like a film editor clipping off the badly acted bits that couldn’t be recast. Or the actor who improvises […]

Music Although our cult of fast distractions and great disruptions is hell-bent on crushing the album beneath its caterpillar tracks, the long play musical form will always remain a pillar of art. Admittedly making an album seems to be a difficult feat for the insta-everything generation, but it is still an ideal to aspire to. […]

Michael Stipe and Kurt Cobain Freddie Mercury, Barack Hussein, Jack Kerouac, Kahlil Gibran, Oscar Wilde and Obi Wan,   Om Kolthoum, Naguib Mahfouz, Rumi, Khayyam and Amos Oz, Lennon, McCartney, Charles Darwin Tank Man, Hitchens, James Baldwin,   Nelson Mandela, Thomas Sankara, Pablo Neruda, Che Guevara, Carol Ann Duffy and Angelou This, my heroes, is […]

There is apparently a scientific reason why, as we grow older, we tend not to resonate with newer trends in music. The songs we fall in love with when we’re younger will typically guide our subsequent listening habits and they are also the songs that we carry with us as we age. Our music tastes […]

“Why Colombia?” was a question I was often asked by friends when I first mentioned that I would be going there.  A few of them raised their eyebrows and gave me a supposedly ‘knowing wink’. (This confused me, since I couldn’t figure out the suggestion in the wink, or what it was I was supposed […]

Music It could be my advancing years or the death of my brain cells, but I am increasingly unable to decipher one musical style from another, unless the piece of music was recorded in the twentieth century, or does not have the ‘pop’ tag attached to it. We live in eclectic times, or rather we […]

The tide is perennial, My heart sincere, Icarus, he fell apart under the ozone layer. The unrequited handshake the disappointed tear. All wings were not meant for flying   Make-believe is amorphous, big dreams disappear, Mercutio, he fell down on his own frontier, The infected heartache, The suffocated prayer. Most hopes have a habit of […]

This is not an English port, but it has a point. Air full of humid, history and salt and sky full of weather this isn’t just a sea, son it is the holy water of hope where we come to be cleansed from the fickleness of  life drink – drink but never forget this is […]

‘What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist. ‘ Salman Rushdie In early January 2015, Alan Wadi Okego, a 25-year-old Moi University student, was arrested for posts he had made on social media against the Kikuyu ethnic community, and was charged, among other things, for ‘insulting’ President Uhuru Kenyatta […]

Now here’s the real story, tailored and spun like the emperor’s yarn for no one to hear he said, who said, a synopsis she made a scarecrow in the yard to keep the coast clear you’ve put on too much weight, one of them wrote, the people I know that you know but who won’t […]

waking is a curse it strips away the wizard’s curtain and opens your eye   this dream, this dream, to dance in the steps of conformity, drink away the blissful waters of Lethe   there are no Edens on the quester’s path, no bowls of milk for the cats who see through kings These are […]

Just so that I can say some things I have been wanting to say all year, I am going to start my annual rant of ‘what-a-great-year-it-has been’ that nobody really gives two hoots about, with some negatives. First, I do not think Sia’s Chandelier is a great song, nor is it worth all the attention […]

I remember the last time they made me listen to the haunting rhythm of life I heard the purposeful staccato syncopation of your grandfather’s swan song vhoop vhoop vhoop Can you hear it, the sonographer asks now but I was instead coiled in a stupor, like sitting at The Hatter’s table in several layers of […]

Now again I remember you capacious, the smile, Hammersmith & City a woollen scarf, the colours of Autumn eyes beaming like the sunshine from a film where’re you from? you asked   my coffee spills, big lady pushing at Euston Square it’s alright you said, laughing nervously Press pause. Rewind. I will evoke this on […]

It’s a sunny day in Camden, and I walk with a gait like a star in a play there’s a song playing somewhere, I think it is Blondie from back in the day I know all the words, it’s a song I could write but never reveal so I hide in the tune, thoughts that […]

I’m the devil with the horns and this is the pain in my eyes look, look   I am done with forgiveness I would like to pierce you deeply, one more time before I go before your friends applaud as you kill me for the last time come, let us dance then matador in a […]

Someone said if I looked hard at the sun, you’d be there. but the vision has been a kaleidoscope… ….haze..daze…hallucinogenic… so I waited till I sobered up, because I thought reality would be a prism of colour. But I was wrong. I see nothing. The sleeping pill has dreamt itself out. I’ve woken up now […]

So if I were knee deep in a river of passion you’d think I’d be scared of the torrents and run? Maybe I am scared. But if I have undressed and am naked I might as well bathe. Let the river carry me where it will Let it rise, let it flow, let it gush […]

I wasn’t sure if I had walked out of a reverie Paul Simon’s National guitar was riffing off the radio as Kerouac whispers to me words bummed in my head The long, long road dropped into the Death Valley California Route 190, Mojave Desert I wasn’t sure if it was Hemingway who said this but it […]

Ageing is a wondrous, eclectic, beautiful thing, to wit, a balding, greying man starting the day with Daft Punk, then singing along to Lorde in between morning meetings, before turning to the 30-something wisdomesques of The National as the sun sets over Nairobi, before going home to the swinging voice of Michael Bublé. Youth limits your choices, age expands your frequency […]