Ubber blogger Make It Ultra (MIU) is having a poetry contest, accepting submissions from today until January 8. Do check it out. I was thinking of submitting an old poem of mine, Random Thoughts, previously posted here. Simply because MIU has a lot of content about psychology and mindfulness stuff – a great blog. And also because the stories that inspired me to write Random Thoughts had to do with mental illness and fears of it.
In my sixth form college years, I travelled by bus to get to school and always noticed a man with long matted dreadlocks walking around and around a small traffic island in the middle of the road near my bus stop. He seemed to do that everyday, all day. An older friend later told me he was his contemporary, they called the ‘madman’ Dockey and that he was once a supremely intelligent student and highly respected person in society. I left it at that. Later, I was a teacher and one of my supremely intelligent students told me how his friends frequently cautioned him about being, to them, overly interested in the problems and issues of our country; joked and said they did not share his zeal for wanting to brainstorm solutions because thinking about those things could make people go mad; and often laughed at him because they felt he was ‘too bright’ for his own good.
A jump of a few more years and these two stories merged in my head and out popped that poem:
This yelping puppy of a mind wags a trail of
Thoughts tugging owner in the lead, energized on
Enthusiasm, love of country obsessive,
For its own good, excessive; it went, chasing manes,
Charging the shadow of its tail it went, off in
The traffic of possibilities, brains scattered
Custom that drifter now walks, chains and padlocks on
Dreadlocks, weights his mind he mutters, lock it in the
Kennel of his skull, so it won’t stray; he circles
Lampposts for a piss, walks concentric, won’t go off
On tangents, the town’s eccentric; when people laugh
At him, it may be envy; they call him Locky.