The poem takes the form of an invoice. The words of the poem, below, are on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side are numbers which add up to the total mentioned in the poem. To: His Most Wise Imperial Majesty the Emperor From: Shaman and Sons: Weavers, Cloth Merchants and Tailors (by Royal Appointment) • One pair of underpants • One vest (Both such fine silk, you’ll not feel dressed) • One pair of socks, as light as air • One robe, as none but kings could wear (As gauzy as the cloudy skies. Your subjects won’t believe their eyes!) • One pair of regal pantaloons (Unique design of large full moons) • One royal cloak, three-metre train (You’ll NEVER SEE the like again!) • One month’s work, without vacation – weaving pure imagination • TOTAL GOLD PIECES: One thousand and three • The lesson you learned? That’s GRATIS and FREE.



Sarah Ziman is a poet from Wales who likes cats, crisps, cake, reading and rhyme. She dislikes writing about herself. She won the YorkMix Poems for Children Prize 2021, and has been commended three times for The Caterpillar Poetry Prize. She enjoys annoying her own children by ‘forcing them on nature walks’ or ‘dragging them into antique shops’. Her debut children’s collection Why Did My Brain Make Me Say It? is out this year from Troika Books.