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My clothes are not made out of sealskin
and roughly-woven flax
I am not the organizer
of the annual horse fair at Morioka
I have no knowledge of Persian,
my garden is not famous for its radishes,
though I am as fond as the next of pastoral simplicity -
I don’t rule China,
I have never been married to a king,
Though twenty-five have asked for my hand -
Nelson and I never met
I no longer dream in old Norse
No one has dedicated an expiatory chapel to me
(thanks for nothing)
I’ve never been a hostage in the Denkyera Court
I don’t have a lynx for a pet,
though a basic lynx would suit me very well,
living as I do without frills or Acid House thrills -
I’m not a forest acrobat or an amateur courtesan,
or a student of colours,
with my golds and chalcedonies
I’m not an island looking for a husband
nor a foundling whose fingerprints puzzle everyone

I am however lucid
I am also unpredictable as an outdoor broadcast
My pageboy is worth four of your best men
I do not migrate like the bristle-thighed curlew,
or keep all my money in a backstreet Buddhist bank
I do not cut off my toes as a sign of mourning
nor do I rate the gravity of the owl
over the gaiety of the nightingale -

I tell you
though I know you’ll not believe me -
I was never consort to the river god
nor when I slept all night in the forest
did a magic bird tell me why the world was created