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Monterey Sirak's Blog

About Monterey Sirak
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I retired from a nursing career to live a simple life in the country and write. I self
published my first book of poetry, The River of Liquid Dreams. Small presses published two more, In The Presence of Shadows, and Faith Like A Dandelion. I had the honor of having one of my poems recited in a documentary produced by the Canadian Institute on Child Health, The Healing Journey. I give poetry readings and judge performance poetry competitions.

                                   Monterey Sirak        



Blog Posted:6/20/2014 8:34:00 AM

Wow! This was a hard contest to do. I received so many amazing poems. It was fun to find out about so many of you and what poets inspire you to pick up a pen and keep writing, and writing.

I had requested no names on the poems, preferring to judge blind. For several years I judged slam competitions, some of them with thousands in prize money. At first it wasn't too hard, poets came in from all over the country and they were all strangers. Judging was all about the poetry and performance. Then I began to know the poets personally, connected between slams. When they returned to compete, judging became much harder. I struggled to know I was giving scores only on the quality of the poetry and not letting personal like for and respect of the poet influence me.

I have come to know many poets here, some are personal favorites, and some I have connected with beyond the soup. I wanted to be sure I was not giving scores based on personal feelings so those that entered with names attached received honorable mention. Their poems were just too good to not mention.

I am sorry if anybody is upset over their poem not placing, or the placement it received. Remember these are only my thoughts. Another would probably choose differently.

Many hugs and thanks to everyone who participated.

Here is the list of winners:

Actually I can't figure out how to get the list of winners on this blog. Thought I could copy and move but that doesn't seem to be working. I am not very computer savvy. Guess you will have to look at the list itself.


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  1. Date: 6/24/2014 11:45:00 PM
    Hi Monterey, I really enjoyed writing for your contest. I was so inspired by the theme! Thank you for placing my poem on your winner's list! Congratulations to everyone who participated! :)

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  1. Date: 6/21/2014 8:34:00 AM
    Yes, congratulations to all the winners, and to all who entered. You all wrote beautiful, creative poems based on my idea. I am glad I was able to inspire such a unique outpouring of words. I will be leaving for Florida tomorrow due to a health crisis with my uncle. I will try my best to comment on all the entries I received in as timely a manner as I can. Again, thank you to all of you who participated. I enjoyed reading every poem.

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  1. Date: 6/20/2014 3:07:00 PM
    Congratulations to all the winners! There some amazing entries for your contest, Monterey. Emily Dickinson's words haunt me often. Thank you very much for my placement. Indeed, it must have been hard to judge this one! Love and blessings to all, Carolyn

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  1. Date: 6/20/2014 1:55:00 PM
    Thank you for my placement..I enjoyed all the was a great idia for a contest. BG

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  1. Date: 6/20/2014 1:47:00 PM
    congrats to all who joined, monterey.. huggs

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  1. Date: 6/20/2014 12:46:00 PM
    Monterey, I have these same struggles that you have mentioned when it comes to judging and that is why I judge blind too, and still I sometimes can know just instinctively who the poets are that have participated in my contests. Thanks for my #5. After seeing some of the stellar poems in your contest, I knew mine would not deserve a top spot!! But I am glad you liked it and I thank you for the inspiration to do it. I once figured out how to post a winners' list but I can't remember how I did it. You need to use one of the icons at the top of the bar where you post the blog!! (I have been writing little comments as I read your manuscript. Will soupmail you sometime)

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  1. Date: 6/20/2014 11:40:00 AM
    Thank you so much, Monterey! What amazing poets so beautiful paid tribute in your contest! Congratulations to one and all !!

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  1. Date: 6/20/2014 10:48:00 AM
    Congratulations to all the winners!!! :O)-

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My Past Blog Posts

Date Posted: 9/26/2014 7:22:00 AM
Date Posted: 6/20/2014 8:34:00 AM
Romantic Gestures
Date Posted: 2/13/2014 9:24:00 AM
The Sound of Color Judged
Date Posted: 12/10/2013 8:58:00 AM
Date Posted: 7/27/2013 5:25:00 AM
Date Posted: 6/1/2013 6:45:00 AM
Date Posted: 5/18/2013 6:14:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
10/12/2014NINETY SOMETHINGFree verseage,life,
9/1/2014FRUGIFEROUSFree verseromance,
8/24/2014A TASTE OF-----Free versefun,
8/4/2014FINALITYFree verseloss,relationship,
7/28/2014DAISY PETALSFree verselove,
7/28/2014Life InterruptedFree verselife,
7/16/2014THE LETTERFree verseabsence,loneliness,
7/10/2014 WORDLESS MEMORIESFree versedevotion,loss,love,
6/6/2014AUTUMN'S APPROACHPantoumloss,
5/18/2014A LETTER TO SYLVIA PLATHFree verseinspiration,poets,
5/10/2014DELIVERANCE REVISITEDFree versewords,
5/5/2014MAKING BEDS IN A BURNING HOUSEFree versebrother,growth,life,
4/26/2014KALEIDOSCOPEFree verselife,loss,lost,
4/26/2014FREE VERSE CIRCUSFree versepoetry,poets,
4/13/2014COW TANKATankaanimal,friendship,
4/13/2014SPRING MORNING IN THE OZARKSFree versenature,spring,
4/11/2014WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONEFree versechildhood,children,life,
4/9/2014HANGING TOUGHFree versechildren,courage,life,
4/1/2014MY ODE TO THE NETHERLANDSDodoitsuimage,places,
3/17/2014ALMOSTFree versebaby,birth,loss,love,
3/16/2014OLD RATTY ROBEFree verseloss,love,mother,
3/16/2014A MATTER OF TASTEFree verseabuse,
3/2/2014SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHTFree versebetrayal,loneliness,
3/2/2014THE WINDOWPANEImagismlove,
2/21/2014TEARSFree verselife,
2/13/2014PROMISESFree verselove,
2/13/2014A LOVE THAT WILL CROSS OVERCoupletlove,
2/10/2014WHERE DO THEY GO WHEN THEY LEAVEFree verseabsence,remember,
2/6/2014TEA PARTYDramatic Verse (Verse Drama)dedication,inspiration,
2/6/2014THE LOST SOCKFree versepoetry,
1/31/2014FADE AWAYFree verse 
1/27/2014NELLFree versegrandmother,life,love,
12/23/2013THE BLOSSOMING OF THORNSFree versebeauty,pain,
12/23/2013MOST DESERVINGFree verseconflict,confusion,hope,l
12/21/2013OLD MAN WINTERPersonificationwinter,
12/17/2013NATURE'S CHILDFree verselife,
12/1/2013IF I WERE TINKERBELLFree versefantasy,
11/30/2013A KING ARTHUR HOMEFree verseculture,
11/26/2013THANKSGIVING EVETankaloss,
11/23/2013POETIC COMPARISONSFree verselife,poetry,society,
11/19/2013One Thousand White ButterfliesFree versebeauty,butterfly,celebrat
11/15/2013BROKEN FLOWERSEthereebeauty,child,love,
11/9/2013DUST BOWL SFFree versechange,life,nature,
11/4/2013SKYFree verselife,native american,
11/2/2013ETERNAL BREATHFree verseloss,love,
10/25/2013GULF SHORE MOONNarrativedesire,love,moon,water,
10/25/2013EVENING SONGImagismanimal,eve,nature,
10/23/2013MISTY MORNINGImagismmorning,nature,
10/19/2013SHIELD MY JOYFree versegod,joy,
10/16/2013BEATLE MANIAFree versecelebrity,
10/15/2013NEW ORLEANS Where Living Is So GoodFree versecommunity,culture,life,
10/14/2013PIXILATEDFree versejourney,self,
10/11/2013TOP OF THE STAIRSFree verseimagination,senses,
10/10/2013EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARYFree versebeauty,happiness,life,
9/22/2013THOUGHTS FROM A TREEFree versefeelings,nature,spoken wo
9/22/2013MELTING RAINBOWSFree verseconflict,culture,society,
9/21/2013EARTH ASTRONAUTS AND PARISIAN CAFESFree verseimage,society,world,
8/27/2013WHOSE GARDENFree versechange,poetry,
8/22/2013LEFT SIDE OF NOWHEREFree versesocial,society,
8/17/2013AT MIDNIGHTFree versepoems,
8/17/2013ADDICTIONFree versefeelings,identity,
7/28/2013POETRY READINGFree verseinspiration,introspection
7/27/2013POACHING FROSTFree versepoetry,words,
6/25/2013A SECRET NEVER TOLDFree versedeath,grief,sister,
6/20/2013PATTY-CAKE ANGELSFree verseangel,celebration,happine
6/15/2013DADDY WANTED TO FLYFree versedad,
6/9/2013WHEN A DREAMER SIGHSFree verselife,poetry,society,
6/5/2013THE WAY OF LIFEFree versechange,
6/2/2013I WANT WHAT I CAN'T HAVEFree verselife,society,
5/26/2013Tomorrow I Will WriteFree verseinspiration,poetry,writin
5/19/2013Melancholy MemoryVersedeath,grief,loss,
5/19/2013HOMEFree versehome,
5/11/2013Twilight HandsFree verseage,life,mom,tribute,
5/5/2013EpitaphFree verseabsence,death,

My Photos

ps_you and everyone else.jpg

Fav Poems

Poem TitleFormCategories
The Peace SignFree versememory,peace,
MomFree verseloss,love,mom,
On the outside, looking inFree versefriendship,life,people,sa
My day as a womanRhymeencouraging,feelings,jour
Flickering ShadowsFree verseadventure,
Language BarrierProse Poetryemotions,immigration,insp
ALL ABOUT CURIOSITYLight Poetryidentity,
Like A TreeFree versedevotion,faith,
Teach them youngI do not know?africa,children,culture,e
ALONG YOUTH'S LANERhymechildhood,places,
Temple of LifeSijogod,nature,
FROZEN HEARTBEATFree verselonging,sad,
How to DieFree verseage,death,dream,
Dear Robert FrostFree versepoetry,poets,
Beg to HaveBlitzbetrayal,
Questions to PonderVerseappreciation,beauty,thank
I Am The Mighty MountainPersonificationearth,mountains,
My Poetry GardenNarrativegarden,
Hey Hank, Did You Just -Senryufunny,writing,
I need to feelFree verseangst,emotions,
What Am IQuatrainnature,
The GiftDramatic monologueangel,beauty,
A Rare PlaceBlank versenature,
The GiftVerseencouraging,prayer,spirit
How Poetry BeganQuatrainnature,poetry,
Hidden mountaineerRhymehappiness,journey,
Holy Is The LambFree versedevotion,god,
I Recall The WindFree versemom,moving on,
Soft SeptemberVerseautumn,
God's Kind Of PoetryTerza Rimabeauty,devotion,poetry,
FALL IN LOVEAcrosticautumn,love,nature,

Fav Poets

Richard Lamoureux Canada Flag Canada Read
Mystic Rose Canada Flag Canada Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Drake Eszes United States Flag United States Read
Anne Lise Andresen Norway Flag Norway Read
Suzanne Delaney United States Flag United States Read
Donna Jones United States Flag United States Read
Mark Peterson United States Flag United States Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Elly Wouterse Netherlands Flag Netherlands Read
Bindu Vijayan India Flag India Read
Ronald Zammit Australia Flag Australia Read
Brooke Dylan United States Flag United States Read
harry horsman United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Robert Lindley United States Flag United States Read
Arlene Smith United States Flag United States Read
Tim Ryerson United States Flag United States Read
daver austin United States Flag United States Read
Keith Robson United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Sara Kendrick United States Flag United States Read