My poem for Shane Warne

On the occasion of Shane Warne’s State Funeral, I humbly offer these lines of verse:

At the top of his mark he lingers,
Flicking the ball between his fingers,
His blonde hair glistens in the sun,
Making the batsman wait, just for fun.

With casual malevolence he scans the field,
Using every power he has to wield,
Moving a fielder this way and that,
Pulling a rabbit from out the hat.

Glaring at the batsman, he licks his lips,
Imagining the leather spinning towards the slips,
Grasping the ball, he strongly flicks it,
Before rolling forward towards the wicket.

The batsman waits, his mind in a scramble,
Reading nothing from Warnie’s amble,
Will it be the slider or the big leg break,
Feeling every inch of tension’s weight.

With a grunt, Shane flicks his wrist,
The mischievous ball begins to twist,
Arcing gracefully in parabolic flight,
Giggling all the way with devilish delight.

The ball fizzes and starts to drift,
The buzz of the crowd begins to lift,
The batsman can’t think fast enough,
As the ball drifts towards the rough.

Now is the moment, now is the time,
The batsman has misread every sign,
His hesitant feet begin to skip,
As the ball lands and starts to rip.

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The bat searches for the ball in vain,
A tortured mind in a world of pain,
The ball sniggers as it fizzes on by,
The crowd awaits the keeper’s cry.

The ball dislodges the wooden bails,
The fielders rejoice with jubilant wails,
The batsman falls, his technique tattered,
Looking behind, his stumps are scattered.

Warnie roars in spontaneous rapture,
Another wicket to enhance his stature,
His teammates gather in triumphant rejoice,
As the crowd gives adulation its voice.

We miss those golden days of spin,
When Warnie ruled and Shane was King,
Batsman left confused and muddled,
Contorted minds bemused and befuddled.

But now it’s time say goodbye,
To let the untamed spirit fly,
The game will never be the same,
Not without that bloke named Shane.

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