Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

H. L Mencken on Democracy

In view of recent events, I thought I might try and explain the American electoral process for my friends in other countries. But perhaps Mr. Mencken, another scribe from just up the way in Baltimore, does it better:

"I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself - that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle. I do not know: I report only that when the suckers are running well the spectacle is infinitely exhilarating. But I am, it may be, a somewhat malicious man: my sympathies, when it comes to suckers, tend to be coy. What I can't make out is how any man can believe in democracy who feels for and with them, and is pained when they are debauched and made a show of. How can any man be a democrat who is sincerely a democrat?"

(Read the entire entertaining diatribe here:

I should add that I am not quite so cynical about democracy myself. I still hope for the better, if not the best.


Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
But what it all boils down to, I suppose, is the old adage: If we want to see the change, we must be the change.... Read More
Thursday, 17 November 2016 07:54
Stephen Evans
I'm not sure Mencken would see ti that way, but it sounds like a good start to me.
Thursday, 17 November 2016 19:28
738 Hits

Time and Chance

I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to those with knowledge, nor favor to those with skill; but time and chance happen to all.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
And there is so much Hope and possibility of renewal and discovery encapsulated in those sentiments... How we embrace the challeng... Read More
Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:16
Stephen Evans
I agree - time to get to work.
Thursday, 10 November 2016 12:53
663 Hits

The Big Reveal

The leaves are fading fast now, falling in waves and beginning to shower the ground in brown.




The colors are dim this year, I suppose because  the rain was limited. The connection between water and color is a mysterious one, an algorithm I cannot fathom, except to say that just enough, at just the right time, is a condition of brilliance.




But one thing I do appreciate about the leafless trees is the revelation of structure. I have long been fascinated by this, drawn to something elemental in the vision. I wonder why each tree happened to grow in that unique and complex way - what combination of water, wind, heredity and happenstance has led to this specific existential architecture.


Are any trees identical? Some like aspen are genetically so, since a grove is often really one tree connected at the root level (root suckering it is called). But even so, each aspen sprout seems slightly different, leans left or right, from or to some unknown attractor. 



My favorites are the trees at night, dark grey trunks and branches barely revealed against the deeper sky. On a clear night, the stars shine between the branches, as though the leaves have been reincarnated as celestial bodies.


Maybe that's what winter is for, to drop the veneer and let the heaven show through. 

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
I really enjoyed this. I love trees. And I love autumn and winter. It's when I feel renewed, at one with myself and consequentl... Read More
Friday, 28 October 2016 08:18
Stephen Evans
Autumn is one of my favorites too - so much beauty here in Maryland, usually - just not this year. Winter I have to admit has sta... Read More
Saturday, 29 October 2016 03:18
Ken Hartke
Great post The TV weather guys are busy telling us where the best fall colors are. The few Aspens we can see up on the mountain ... Read More
Friday, 28 October 2016 16:29
1286 Hits

To Me, Sitting Here

My house is warm. The breeze is soft,

enough keep my hopes aloft,

yet do no harm. Think of all

the children who will never fall

on such soft ground as I have been

so fortunate to, say it, win

in this worldly lottery,


I tell myself. Could I do less

Than offer without reticence

a thought that may to action grow

and say “will you get up and go

And help someone in some small way?

Though who will notice, none can say.

Start there, hopefully.”

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Lovely reflection. It doesn't matter if no one notices. It's good karma, for want of a better word. It changes us for the better, ... Read More
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 17:24
Rosy Cole
When I first read this poem, a small (intended) trip in the scansion reminded me of something else and I couldn't put my finger on... Read More
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 22:55
Stephen Evans
Yes! very good. I borrowed from one of my favorites: ... Read More
Thursday, 13 October 2016 15:56
631 Hits

Latest Comments

Stephen Evans Flipping the Omelet
18 January 2018
This is the whole of my philosophy. Via con huevos.
Rosy Cole Flipping the Omelet
18 January 2018
And does this in-depth advice also apply to pancakes? Will it preclude adherence to the overhead lig...
Stephen Evans Going to the Dickens
14 January 2018
Thank you! That sounds just my style
Katherine Gregor Going to the Dickens
14 January 2018
I haven't yet been able to read a Dickens novel in ful (shame on me).May I recommend a wonderful New...
Katherine Gregor Four Wishes
14 January 2018
Amen to this.

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