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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

2014 A-Z Reflections

I Love the "Blogging from A to Z April Challenge"!

That sentence stands on its own.  Truth in 10 words if one counts 'A' and 'Z' as words.  

I've only done the Challenge twice but I'm in love.  I firmly believe that it's because of the companionship and camaraderie which we share with others across all genres - all Bloggers supporting all Bloggers.  It doesn't get much better than that!

To all the wonderful Admins who kept the spirit alive in so many more ways than I ever thought possible - kudos.  It would take this entire post to thank you all and to say how much each of you has meant to me personally, so to you all, please accept my humble and profound thanks.  

For all the new friends I've met and for all of the 'old' friends who visited, I so appreciate your support. Although I am not going to mention everyone, there is one person who must receive my highest accolade. That person is Alex Cavanaugh.  Alex, I remain amazed at everything you do.  Thank you so much for being a constant visitor.  Your comments were always insightful and I looked forward to them with great anticipation and expectation.

I have to share how I was personally impacted by the Challenge.  I decided that the photographs I used to illustrate my poems would be taken by either myself or a family member.  There was only one photo in all 26 posts which wasn't.  This brings me to the highlight of the month which occurred through the simple use of one of my niece's photographs.  The photograph was of a satsuma peel which you can see here and which I believed perfectly illustrated my fun but serious poem which I've included here.  It's called Dear Addict but isn't quite what it seems.

Dear Addict

I think of you
Punch to the midriff
I think of you
My arms go weak
I think of you
My heart starts laughing
My blood gurgles too
As it recognises
My essence
The essence of you

My fingers tingle
As do my toes
My face starts to spasm
And wrinkles my nose
My cheeks join in
Reaching up to my eyes
Which twinkle and sparkle
Like stars in night skies

I say to myself
There’s a problem here
How can it be
That I hold him so dear?

Then once again
I think of you
Punch to the midriff
My knees touch the floor
Legs which can walk for miles
Don’t make the door

So I say to myself
There’s a problem here
How can it be
That I need him near?

My Heart starts laughing
Shoots straight to the core
I’m surprised at you Darling
So I’ll tell you once more

There’s nothing that you

Will be able to do
So I hope that at last
You’ll listen and hear

The only thing wrong 
With you My Dear
Is the song in your heart 
Of your love for him
Your very own Love Song
Which sings to your soul
The very same Love Song 
Which sings to your Heart

You’re an addict My Dear
You’re an addict it’s true
You’re an addict I fear
That much holds true

The cure is a punch to the midriff 
Each time you think of him
A punch to the midriff 
When your arms go weak

I laugh at my heart
As I think of you
I'll take that punch to my midriff 
My arms can going weak
I even don’t mind 

If I don’t reach the door
As long as I’m with you
I can ask for no more

I was surprised and delighted when Emma, my niece, commented on that post but even more so when she told me that the subject of the photograph I'd used was actually made by Thomas, of my grand-nephew.  It was Thomas's Dancing Satsuma Peel.  Thomas has autism so he tends to see life a little differently from most other people.  Well, that comment by Emma triggered a most natural response from me and I immediately did a post on Autism and wrote a poem for Thomas.  Emma read the poem to Tom and he thoroughly enjoyed it.  That, out of all the high points of the Challenge was the absolute highlight for me.  

Thank you all once again for an outstanding experience.


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
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. That is wonderful! Beautiful tribute to your grand-nephew. And he is quite talented with peels.
    You are the reason we keep doing the Challenge every year. That it will touch someone and bring them closer to others.
    And thank you for the mention. I enjoyed everything you wrote!

  2. This is wonderful and very special to me that you wrote this for us. Thank you very much. Something I will treasure x

  3. I love the Satsuma Man poem and the picture. What a lovely thing to do for your grand-nephew!

  4. Congratulations on completing the challenge.

    I love both of the poems in this post, especially the Satsuma Man poem because of the story behind it. :-)