We eye him in his chair
His mood mercurial
Ours will swerve with his
Through the match.
From corner chair
The MASTER dressed in black
Smoothes impeccable hair.
He anticipates no crown
Gives his usual casual frown.
It’s we who anticipate.
He reaches for his stick
A tapered rod of wood
But he’s no Little John about to hedge
With Robin of the Hood
He’s SNOOKER’S gifted champ.
It’s we who are on edge.
His touching hand
Moves CUE from right to left to right
Like MIDAS that wood transforms
Before our eyes
Collectively we’re hypnotised.
We watch him rise
Then boldly walk
Across the floor
Finger and thumb
In pocket that holds his CHALK
We urge him on.
He stops at table ledge
Surveys the battle scene
Then pulls out the CUBE
Of greenish chalk.
He purses lower lip
Rubs cube on cushioned tip
Blows gold dust all around
Reveals diamond in i-RON surround.
By God we’re spellbound.
He stalks around the table
Golden hand smoothes green baize cloth
But he is no sloth.
He’s called the ROCKET.
There’s no trick of light
No abra cadabra
Before our eyes
That baize begins to shimmer
Like a sea of emeralds green
We’re mesmerized.
The triangle of reds
The T of colours
Each on its spot
They wait, they anticipate,
The uncrowned king of snooker.
In a line of uncrowned kings.
He lifts the cue ball – white
There is no wand in sight
It becomes a pearly orb.
He places pearl on shimmering emeralds green.
It too waits for his command.
We watch.
We bate our breath.
The epic battle begins
First ruby red in
And all pockets have silver lining.
That pearl touches the perimeter
And silver flows mercurial through the cushions.
The break mounts up
The century comes
The one four seven
In five minutes twenty seconds flat
We exhale.
Mercurial messenger of the Gods
Heavenly body nearest the sun
O’SULLIVAN the natural talent
Our national treasure
Royal purple jewel in the crown
Of CRUCIBLE greats.
A foul and a miss
From the nation’s honours lists
We the people crown you
Our well loved KING !