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Saturday, 5 April 2014


I missed World Autism Day but living with someone who is autistic isn't only for one day, so this is for my nephew, Kyle and his wife, Emma who have the honour of having being chosen by God to share their life with their wonderful son, Thomas (who is autistic) and their daughter Amelia.  What this is doing for my family is teaching them how to think very differently from what is considered ‘normal’ in today’s world. 

They are, in a very real sense, getting a glimpse into how God views us.  From 1 Samuel 16:7 we get this gem on God’s choosing of David to be King over others who were viewed by the prophet Samuel as being acceptable to be king of Israel.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

I used Thomas’s ‘Dancing Satsuma Peel’ in my poem for ‘D’ (Dear Addict) for the April A-Z Challenge to describe a punch to the midriff, not knowing it was, in fact Thomas's work.  However, this is a much better story. 

Emma, Thomas’s mother and my darling niece-in-law (if there is such a thing.  I think of her simply as my niece) wrote the following message on my Facebook page:

“Thomas's dancing Satsuma peel.  I would be honoured to just share the thoughts of an autistic child for just one day. They look at the world as the world is.  It's raining cats and dogs, while we "get" that it means it's raining really hard.  Why don't we just say that?  That freaks an autistic person out, but if it DID really rain cats and dogs it would totally freak us all out! I think that they are more in tune with life and it's us that have a skewed outlook that sadly makes us "normal".  Think outside the box, as autism parents we have to do this every day.  It's a pleasure to do so.

So, here it is; a special poem for Emma, Kyle, Amelia and most particularly for my precious nephew, Thomas...

Satsuma Man

When you look at me
Thomas's Dancing Satsuma Peel
What do you see?
Do you know what I am?
No, I’m not eggs and ham

I can see it for real
It’s the torn off peel
You say as you widely grin
From an orange or mandarin

No, No, No
Look low
Say I
And then again look high

Look left
Past the crevice and cleft
Look right
For a wonderful sight

Keep moving your eyes
Watch it fall and then rise
Soon you’ll say, ‘Why, Yes I can’
It’s the Dancing Satsuma Man

It’s the Dancing Satsuma Man
Dancing as only he can
Arms and legs open wide
His head thrown back in pride

What a moment, what fun
See him dance; see him run
It’s the little peel man
The Dancing Satsuma Man


  1. Lovely, makes me want to throw my head back and dance without a care in the world <3

  2. What a beautiful and touching poem. The dancing peel is adorable, I don't know if I'll ever look at an orange peel again.

    Thanks for coming by the Untethered Realms A-Z today. Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Ugh, meant to say look at an orange peel the same way again! I think I might already be suffering from A to Z fatigue LOL.

  4. The Dancing Satsuma Man... that sounds like it needs to be a story.

    1. :) That is a brilliant idea and I know exactly how I should do it.

      Thanks so much, Andrew.

  5. Hi there!

    What a cute Stasuma Man! I am also doing the A to Z Challenge and focusing on picture books because I am a children's picture book author. Good luck with the challenge!

    Take care,

    Donna L Martin

  6. What a wonderful poem! Orange peels will always dance in my eyes now too. :)

  7. I read the poem to Thomas and he proudly said "I made that man". A little later he said "that is a really good poem mum, I liked it" <3

    1. Awww. choking up here. Darling little man. After the A-Z Challenge, I'll chat to you about an idea, instigated by my friend, Andrew Leon. :)

  8. Returning your visit to my blog from the A to Z challenge. I have a special needs' son, so I know so well the way that they look at life and how they do not understand language that is not literal. He appears to all to be high-functioning autistic, but the one thing that disqualifies him from the spectrum is that he can recognize (not all the time) other people's emotions. So, they lean towards a bi-polar diagnosis. I think he's somewhere in the middle. Thank you for this awesome poem. Billy would totally love this.