The Mad Man

Fingers point at him

Children laugh at him

Spotted on a spot

He looks tattered and haggard

He is crazy

He is insane

He says to himself, “No I am sane”

Looking at everyone

He thinks “they are all mad”

There is mutual ridicule

He knows there is an existence of discontinuity

He knows there is an exhibition of false cues

He understands his disorder cannot be masked

He seats in the market square yelling

Speaking incoherently, with huge distortions

Gazing hard at his subjects

He seeks for vulnerability in their eyes

To assault impulsively

With marvel, the climate, he disregards

They all stare at him

He is misguided

Pathological reasoning undetected

Realisations of his society’s norms are gone

Even of accepted simple structured behaviour

He looks at the world amused by his acts

The housewife who nags her husband like the pain in his soul

The unruly kids who are hyperactive with an embryonic attention span

The man who returns home every night drunk as skunk, staggering and vomiting

The young lad sniffing and smoking drugs and acting weird as him

The lady in her mid life crises with no clue of destinations

The market men and women negotiating trade on the top of their voices

His feelings all very precise

Premonitions concise

He says to himself defensively- “Are they not all mad”?

What differentiates us are standards of acceptance

He laughs hysterically at this thought

He then withdraws pensively

He opens his dirty torn sack

Cries hard while searching for a tabard he picked up from the streets

He puts this on in utter disbelief and displeasure

Covers his exposing torso

Goes through a process of self deprecation

Slaps his head continuously

And mutters something evidently

Again in disbelief, runs east bound

And never returned

In retaliation to madness

In conformity to his psyche

Whatever the drive

My imagination points it as a riddle

It could only go thus far

(A poem fused from the concept of mental health in Nigerian cultures)

Written Aug 2015