Thursday 1 February 2007

The Armchair Expert

This poem was inspired by a poetic "conversation" with another poet, Mad Mickster Murphy; we like to exchange our increasingly outrageous views on a variety of subjects but this is one (perhaps the only one) where we found ourselves in complete agreement!
One one level it's an appreciation of the careful patient study that turns talent into skill, the hard work that underpins the greatest success. On another it's a sigh of exasperation at those who like to criticise but never actually do, never contribute, never take the risk of creation.
Whatever the art form, when you produce you risk; part of yourself, part of your ego, part of your inner landscape laid bare. Those who will not take the risk, but want the privilege of criticising - these are the dreaded armchair esperts

The Armchair Expert...

There are a race of little blighters
full of venom, full of spite
known to all who make or build
as 'youknowyouhaventdonethatright'
this strange species never make
nor build nor fix nor e'er create
their only purpose is to watch
the work of others and berate!

They see each flaw, and always think
if only they had had a say
they would have made it bigger, better
superior in every way!
They trot out all their cliched phrases
'you should have, could have, done it thus'
the worker tries to show their error
but this just leads to greater fuss.

'Oh you're just jealous,' comes the chorus
'you see that I could do it best.'
The worker bows their head and sighs
and tries again to show the jest.
How they, by hours of patient work
have learnt the skill and mastered trade
the scars on hand, the calloused fingers
show the price each one has paid.

How to silence monkeys chattering?
How to stop the wittering birds?
How to bid the 'expert' silent
when they have nothing but their words?
The worker suffers slings and arrows
shafts of venom, jealous jeers
but words fade with the last faint echo ...
the thing he builds outlasts the years.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


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