Do Motives Matter? - Eileen Manassian's Blog

About Eileen Manassian
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I guess you could say I'm a citizen of the world. I've traveled....and I've lived parts of my life in Iran, Lebanon, the US, and Cyprus. I am proud of my Armenian heritage. I was born in Tehran, Iran and soon after that, my family went to the States for my dad to work on his MA degree and many years later, to work on his Ed.D. I have a lot of the Middle East and the West in me, and at times....I feel confused about my identity. I do, however, cling to my Armenian roots and am outspoken about recognition by the world of the Armenian Genocide that took place over 100 years ago.

Since my parents had no common language, the language spoken in our home was English. Yes, I am most fluent in English, and I think, dream, and converse in that language, though I do speak 5 other languages to varying degrees! :)

I am melancholy/sanguine by nature and feel everything very keenly. My highs are SUPER HIGH...and my lows...SUPER LOW! I guess you could say...I'm INTENSE. I'm passionate about poetry to the point of obsession.

The events that have colored my life are the death of my mother due to MS and the war in Lebanon. As a child, it was hard for me to come to grips with the fact that my mother was ill, and to see her go from being a vibrant, well-loved teacher to a wheelchair bound, isolated woman was a very harrowing experience. I do believe, though, that there is a resurrection day and that, by His grace, I will see my Mama fully of wheelchair, able to sing, laugh, and smile again. The war in Lebanon...bombs landing all around, nights spent in bomb shelters.. has also scarred me to some degree.

What I'm most proud of? That would be my daughter...Shereen Natalie Ghali. She is the light of my life. Her name in Farsi means SWEET! :)

Currently, I teach English at Middle East University in Beirut, Lebanon. Poetry Soup has been a haven for me....most of the time! ;) I've developed amazing friendships here that are very genuine and real. My dream is to one day have my name on a volume of poetry! One can always dream....Thank you for making the effort to get acquainted. God bless!


Do Motives Matter?

Blog Posted:6/26/2014 2:21:00 AM

Well? Do they? Does it matter WHY we do what we do, say what we say, and write what we write? I mean, give a hungry man a meal, and you've done a good deed. He's happy. He doesn't care that you did it to show off, or to get brownie points in heaven? His hunger is appeased....he's glad. Shouldn't that be all that matters?

You give a gift...the recipient is thrilled. Is it a show of love, or a way to earn love? Does it matter?

You post a comment on a poem...the poet is thrilled! Is it to show how talented he/she is or how caring you are? Does it matter?

Why do we do the things we do? Well, will we ever know? NO. Should we second guess? Well...these aren't rhetorical questions. What do you think?

Motives count. That's my opinion. If my heart tells me something isn't genuine....I'm cautious. I accept the gift, graciously, but keep my heart safe until I've learned to trust the giver/doer. Is that wrong? 

Then again, at times, we are encouraged to do things for others, even if our motives aren't in the right place...hoping, the motives will come along eventually. We help because it's expected. We visit to reciprocate. We give, because we have been given. Are the motives always based on those finner values like love, compassion, and empathy? No, but iff we wait for our motives to be in the right place for every single thing in life, hardly anything will ever get done! We strive to be genuine, and if we aren't there yet, we do what's right and hope it's a blessing. 

One little note...motives matter to God. Sometimes prayers don't get answered because the motives of our hearts in asking aren't what they should be. 

 James 4: 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Motives matter to God. Just saying.



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  1. Date: 7/18/2014 6:57:00 PM
    A few more good comments since last I checked out your blog. Hugs Rick.

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  1. Date: 7/5/2014 8:53:00 AM
    To be honest, most of the things we do in life are done either on instinct or for a reason. Instinct can easily show us for what we are.....cowards, heroes, kind, cruel, caring, repulsive, etc. Motives come as a result of some afterthought, some genuine, others not. Personally I have always tried to avoid showing the opposite of what I feel or mean, even if at times I am tempted to. We are all human, after all, but holding on to high values will help us to make the right decisions.

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    Callus Avatar Paul Callus Date: 7/18/2014 6:55:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thank you Richard! At least mine is not a lone voice shouting in the desert!:)
    Lamoureux Avatar Richard Lamoureux Date: 7/18/2014 6:52:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I agree Paul, well said!
  1. Date: 6/29/2014 7:45:00 PM
    Doing good for just the sake of good is life giving. Love everyone and give benefit of doubt. Be quick to forgive. If your sourest is God it never runs dry. You don't have to react or retaliate when someone misbehaves. Authentic faith brings freedom.

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/30/2014 9:50:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    This is a very interesting post, David. Hard hitting. Authentic faith, yes. You are right.
  1. Date: 6/27/2014 1:47:00 AM
    Motives-Since We are born We are taught to live with 'motives'.Poo in the potty and you get a star,misbehave and you go in the corner.Every deed We do have a motive and a consequence.I always believed that you give is what you give is what you get in the end,so thay short verse motivates me to try and act in the best way I can.Many times a bad moment or a moment when my emotions are acting in anger or mal,Im motivated to act mean,but there is the other side of my mind and reason which is motivating me to calm down,So its about listening more to my inner whole so that my motivations wont lead me to regret.Re poetrysoup,my friends here motivate me to love them back,if it stops feeling this good,I wont be here.

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/29/2014 10:33:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Oh long as you come back to us. I had a bit of a break between semesters. Summer classes start tomorrow. It should be interesting in this kind of heat! GRRRRRR
    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/27/2014 3:32:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey sweet Eileen...Life is very busy momentarily ,but my intention is to do my best and keep in touch with you and other special friends like you here ,who share the same passion for poetry..So hope you re here.I to stay dear.I do need to email some soupers whom I havent got in touch with for a while...Big hugs
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/27/2014 2:03:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Have I do things out of wrong motives? Of course I have...and will continue to do so because I'm human, but that is no excuse. Awareness counts and a willingness to try to change. Sincerity and purity of heart always shines through. I'm glad to have you here, Charmaine. I have missed your tender heart and spirit. There are many whom I miss, and at times when I feel like leaving, those who remain and appreciate me are the staying power. Hugs
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/27/2014 2:00:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    My dearest Charmaine...I was going to write to you because I missed you around here so much. There you have it...Good intentions, but I didn't follow through. Forgive me! You know I Love ya! I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote, my dear. The Bible says "Let others lips praise you and not your own." We are blessed by sharing with others and making them feel wanted and needed.
    Chircop Avatar Charmaine Chircop Date: 6/27/2014 1:53:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Motives..Intentions,till now when I visit someone s poetry-When it comes to newbies is to encourage them as I was encouraged when I first joined here,Others whom I ve known for years here,I visit cause I consider them friends whom share my same hobby.Intentions make all the difference in everything We do.Re charity,giving ,helping and telling everyone about it is only charity with ourselves.We should give in silence and then happiness will fill our hearts in loud cheerful noises.My humble opinion sweetie xx
  1. Date: 6/27/2014 1:24:00 AM
    Eileen. Before I came to Soup, I was at several other sites(with no contests or point system like here) and I can honestly say my motives are mainly to repay kindness with kindness. When someone reads me, I read them back. Even if I may not like their style, it does not matter. They are participating in the process here and I owe them a comment. I was raised to say thanks and also my obsessive personality compels me to reply to every single person who comments to me. Even when I know they are probably not even reading my poems, I still go to their poems and say something. This takes away from my time to explore "new poets" and other poems I might really enjoy. Wish I had time for them all!!

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/27/2014 2:32:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    As for the new poets, I must admit that I am remiss in this area. I know that PD and some others are looking out for the new poets and that is a good thing as it makes them feel welcome and builds loyalty to those welcoming them and to the site. I usually will visit a new poet who has visited me and sometimes will click on poets that are new to me, but I need to do more in this's true.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/27/2014 2:10:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Andrea....I don't read all your poems, but when I do read, I know what I will be getting...beautiful flawless poetry. I also like to visit those who visit me, though I don't get to all of them. I try my best and am a bit obsessive as you are, but don't get to all. :( No excuse for that. I should work on it to improve.
    Dietrich Avatar Andrea Dietrich Date: 6/27/2014 1:29:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Here is another thing that drives me: seeing comments is like "physical proof" that my poems are actually being read. I know in my heart that some poets are not truly reading my work, but I think all of us here want people to read our poems; otherwise, why are we here? I guess I just live for the "hope" that I am truly enjoyed!!! And I have many favorites here whose poems I certainly adore!
  1. Date: 6/26/2014 4:53:00 PM
    Eileen - The verse below may not have much to do with the subject of your blog but it was just what came to mind. Yes indeed, motives matter to God...

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/27/2014 2:04:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hello, my dear friend and partner in crime! ;) The Bible is ALWAYS pertinent, if you ask me. I understand the gist of the text...Yes, motives matter. When we trumpet what we've looses some of its value. Thanks for the post and your kindness to me.
  1. Date: 6/26/2014 4:49:00 PM
    Here's what Jesus said: "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.…

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  1. Date: 6/26/2014 1:28:00 PM
    Hello, sweet Eileen!! How are you? I hope everything is fine. Motives ... intentions ... intentions ... motives ... some questions have obvious answers. : D When we comment on our fellow Soupers' poems ... it definitely "shows" how caring we are, HOWEVER, when we copy/paste (CPC ™) comments on our fellow Soupers' poems ... it definitely "shows" how caring we are TOO!! : D!!!! ... after all, what's wrong with the "necessity" of being on the top of a nonsensical list? : D Peace and love. Sending a big hug.

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    Lamoureux Avatar Richard Lamoureux Date: 7/4/2014 8:04:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I agree, I am not a fan of the cut and paste. When a poet visits thirty people in less than thirty minutes I think there is little chance they are reading the poets work. It's all about driving readers to their poems.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/29/2014 10:32:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey you! No need to ask who you are cheering for! ;) But listen...the Brazilian goalie is yummy. Got any cute guys on your team? I need to cheer for looks! ;) I know...I'm vain! Hugs
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/27/2014 1:00:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The "mobile" enhancement repeats the reply comments?? LOL! @ Eileen and Tim: I'm hiding in family and friends time, I also am reading a couple of books which were in my "must" list ... and of course: watching the World Cup!! : D All the best to you two.
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/27/2014 12:53:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey, sexy voice, how are you? Everything is fine here(well, actually ... a melting summer with daily rains : P) Sending my best wishes.
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 6/27/2014 12:52:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey, sexy voice, how are you? Everything is fine here(well, actually ... a melting summer with daily rains : P) Sending my best wishes.
    Ryerson Avatar Tim Ryerson Date: 6/26/2014 5:04:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hello Ruben!! Where the HECK been?
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 3:02:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hey you!!! Where have you been hiding? So, you finally came round, did ya? Glad to have you here. Thanks for your input, Ruben. We all have things that we take from this blog. I do like it when someone writes something specific about the poem that they appreciated, or the particular feel it evoked in them. I try to be specific in my posts which lines got me, the rhyming or lack thereof. Makes it personal. Thanks for the hug. Sending one back at ya! :)
  1. Date: 6/26/2014 12:57:00 PM
    I don't normally read blogs Eileen, but I was drawn to this one, I'm glad I read it, yes, I guess motives matter, but so does the gesture that gives positive impact, I feel your genuine heart, and the soul that struggles to keep it real, sending my love, and genuine as I can make it, xxxx

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 3:05:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks, Mystic. I'm glad you dropped by. Blogs...I sometimes comment, sometimes don't...depending on what catches my interest. I'm afraid I have this need for others to be real as well. Obviously, I have my reasons for this blog. Each can be his/her own interpreter. Thanks for your genuine love and support. I appreciate it. Hugs
  1. Date: 6/26/2014 8:47:00 AM
    Motives matter in many ways. However in regards to commenting here it is best to know that giving praise on a poet's offering should be genuine and sincere. For if reading a poem that does nothing for the reader then simply not posting praise is easy and does no harm. Then we have the need to welcome new members, new poets, to inspire them to stay and contribute. There again motive could be questioned but why? Is it not good to praise to encourage goodness in others. To encourage and inspire hope! Are we free to pick which writes we praise? Myself , Ipick carefuly but so many to choose from I miss so many!

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 10:15:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Your posts resonate with me, Robert. We all have different tastes. Some like rhyming others think that's archaic. We read what we like and what moves us. We try to encourage because we ourselves thrive on encouragement. I went through a dark period here because I found out what modern publishers want isn't what I write. It hurt, but I appreciate those who pointed it out to me. Honesty can save you from having unrealistic dreams.
    Lindley Avatar Robert Lindley Date: 6/26/2014 9:30:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    If the motive is to inspire to help the author for me it is ok if done solely to help. Additionally, I know just because I do not favor a write does not mean it is not good or even great. For we all have different tastes and I am myself certainly no expert. I am just a humble poet seeking to learn from others. And it does not matter if the other person is a rookie or a great poet! Learning is learning. More than just learning is to me the message in a poem. I am big, very big on messages sent!
    Lindley Avatar Robert Lindley Date: 6/26/2014 9:29:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    My writes are as honest as the day is long. I fail to see any reason a poet would or should write their offerings with anything but their honest feelings/thoughts. Commenting here does require tact and I can see where encouraging others with some kind words is ok. For who knows how great the recipient may someday become!??
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 8:58:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Sorry for the typos.... My fingers get away with me sometimes I type so fast.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 8:56:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hi, Robert. We get acquainted here. I must say I have not read your work, nor you mine. Of course it is good to praise and encourage others. I'm all for encouraging and praising others, within the boundaries of honest praise. If we read my comments below you will understand what I mean by that. I'm know I'm no Elizabeth Browning, so I take superfluous praise with a grain of salt and try to be honest in what I write as well. Thanks for the post.
  1. Date: 6/26/2014 7:24:00 AM
    For me motives are everything, but I guess at the end of the day if I am starving and some person who doesn't really care about me gives me a sandwich, I'll gladly eat it. It would be great to live in a world where people did things out of love and not out of selfishness or to gain something in return.

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 8:42:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    As for soup, yes...there are people I visit because they have visited me and I want to return the visit. They aren't on my favorite poet list, because their poetry doesn't resonate with me that way. However, I try to find something positive to write from the poem itself that I can write honestly about. If it doesn't touch me at all....I just might move on.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 8:40:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    We have had discussions about this in our Bible study group, Richard. Should good deeds be done if the feelings aren't there yet? Yes, we do the good deed, the person is benefited and we hope that the feelings will follow in time because we know it was the right thing to do. Motives are important...and are usually easy to discern.
    Lamoureux Avatar Richard Lamoureux Date: 6/26/2014 7:30:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    So now with regards to the soup how shall I examine my own motives. I comment and read other peoples work because I enjoy interacting with them. Still there is the underlying part of me that wants them to also see and connect with me. At the end of the day we all want to be seen and heard. I think that is why this site is so popular. Without reciprocity it would not be able to survive.
  1. Date: 6/26/2014 2:53:00 AM
    I do believe that motives matter a great deal.If your heart isn't in the right place and your soul is askew then your karma will not be good and our Creator will not be pleased...So I try to only do things especially for others that feel right and pure. not saying I always get it right ....I am far from perfect !! But trying to do the right thing for the absolute right reason is always a good thing ... Hugs...Deb

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    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian Date: 6/26/2014 8:38:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I applaud you, Deb. It's always best when things are done out of true motives. It also has a lot to do with culture...In the Middle East we have a world that translates into "Obligations". Sometimes, you have to do something that culture obligates you to do, though you may not feel like it. You do it, and hope that the feelings come along. :) Thanks for the post.

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3/14/2016 The Body Shame Game Free versebeauty,slam,society,
3/14/2016 Where Has She Gone Free verseage,how i feel,
3/13/2016 To My Favorite Poet Rhymefriend,tribute,

My Photos



Fav Poems

FEELINGS Epigramimagination,introspection
The Mirror is a Liar Rhymededication,metaphor,
The Wedding Ring Quatrainangst,marriage,night,
The Perfect Womens Club Free versewomen,change,
IF I WERE ASKED Epigramgirlfriend,love,wife,
SNOWFLAKES Epigramangel,grief,love,
THE DREAM I LIVE Epigramdevotion,dream,love,dream
Cliches Debunked Quatrainhappiness,humorous,old,bi
Space Rhymedream,space,
Forever Demands Nonetlove,universe,
Beyond Infinity Free verseintrospection,universe,
Walk a Mile Free versephilosophy,
In Your Poems Free versededication,words,
Super Soupers Prosefantasy,writing,girl,me,p
Powerless Villanellelove,me,dream,dream,magic
Love Returned Senryulove,
The Real You Senryudevotion,
Fireflies Haibunlove,nature,me,light,ligh
Locked in a Jar Terzanellelove,heart,dark,dark,hear
What is this Space Quatrainblue,inspirational,
Paint Your Dreams On a Canvas Free verseart,beautiful,inspiration
Friend Free versefriendship,perspective,
Every now and then Lyriclove,miss you,
Hurricane Eileen - The Storm I do not know?dedication,
Five Stars Quatraindedication,poems,
Hidden Key Free versecreation,dance,dream,univ
Ghost Guitar Coupletlove,
A Thousand Dark Secrets Dramatic Verseanger,angst,bereavement,p
Lifegivers Response Free versebible,celebration,drink,j
Red is the colour of passion Free verselove,lust,passion,
HAIKU VERSUS RHYTHM AND RHYME Haikuon writing and words
MIRAGE Free verselife,lost,love,
She Whispered Light Poetryinspirational,life,women,
Little Star Light Poetrylove,memory,
Fire Rises Rhymepassion,passion,
Cinder Girl Rhyme 
The Teacher Free verseteacher,
Marhaba Light Poetryheaven,history,mystery,
THE QUESTION MARK Light Poetrylife,success,
A PLACID LAKE Epigramintrospection,philosophy,
Articulation of Tears Free versehope,life,sad,
Of Crimson Of Rose Of Fire Of Love Versefire,love,memory,
I Touch Your Existence Light Poetrylove,
The Mighty Hand Blank versegrief,life,mystery,
Initiative Free versefriendship,life,longing,l
Jesus, Our Savior Shapelife,religion,
That's Good Enough For Me Rhymefamily,marriage,proposal,
True Hearts Beating Terzanellededication,love,beautiful
A Quivering Heart Rhymelove,life,
Bliss Free versedesire,life,longing,lust,
Fool the world Light Poetryphilosophy,poetry,
King Sun and Goddess Sea Coupletsea,summer,
Figment Free versebeautiful,
Lost in the World of Lonely Lyriclost love,
Stardust Drench me Versehope,imagination,
Warrior Princess Terzanellefantasy,
In the Absence of Moonlight Quatrainlove,
Bengal Personificationnature,
Half Of A Heart Concretehealth,heart,
My Mind A Ship In Darkness Free verseadventure,
Flower Song Free versebeauty,love,romance,
Ugly Acrosticbeautiful,image,
BEAUTY ABIDES Blank versebeautiful,desire,dream,em
Lace Acrosticsensual,
Betty Boop From Beirut Quatraindedication,love,
away Rictameterlife,
A Dream Weaved Free versebeautiful,celebration,for
My insolent heart ABCaddiction
Shabbat Shalom Free versebeautiful,devotion,love,r
Lately I've Been Feeling Like: Free verserelationship,
The Big Bang Free versebeautiful,creation,love,s
Opened Book Free versebooks,emotions,metaphor,
Rainbow Symphony Free versecolor,
I Want to Leave Light Poetryheart,lost,love,
James Bond the Poet Light Poetryhumorous,life,love,romanc
Dampened Sheets Free versebeauty,love,lust,sexy,
Paper Lion Quatrainfantasy,
AROUSE ME Imagismlove,lust,senses,
Eileen And I Quatrainlove,peace,
Woman Quatrainwoman,
Wild Rose Free verseallegory,
How I Miss You Free versepassion,romantic,
Kiss the Wind Light Poetrybeauty,cry,desire,love,
THE MOURNING AFTER Narrativegrief,loss,son,
Another Man's Clothes Free verseintrospection,
The Ghost of You, a love letter Free versebeautiful,loneliness,love
Lament Kyrielledestiny,sad,
Clerihew Soup Clerihewtribute,
warm solar love Free verselove,moon,romance,romanti
All I Want For Christmas Coupletchristmas,
rosebuds Free verseromance,rose,
Simple Words For Simple People Proseanalogy,beach,beautiful,b
That Exquisite Moment Narrativelove,romance,
Unlimited Narrativelove,
In Search Free versebeautiful,bible,god,
bewitched by beauty Free versedream,romance,romantic,
The Lives We Choose Free versefreedom,universe,
To Be With You - Balladdesire,
A beautiful truth I do not know?poetry,
Torchlight Free versebeautiful,love,romance,

Fav Poets

Richard Lamoureux Canada Flag Canada Read
ilene bauer United States Flag United States Read
Demetrios Trifiatis Greece Flag Greece Read
Donna Jones United States Flag United States Read
harry horsman United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Heather Ober Canada Flag Canada Read
Richard D Seal United States Flag United States Read
Painted Hunter United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Drake Eszes United States Flag United States Read
kash poet India Flag India Read
Ken Carroll United States Flag United States Read
Jack Ellison Canada Flag Canada Read
arthur vaso Canada Flag Canada Read
liam mcdaid Ireland Flag Ireland Read
FJ Thomas United States Flag United States Read
Charmaine Chircop Malta Flag Malta Read
Tim Ryerson United States Flag United States Read
Paul Callus Malta Flag Malta Read
Mel Merrill United States Flag United States Read
Justin Bordner United States Flag United States Read
Tim Smith United States Flag United States Read
The LYRIC United States Flag United States Read
Maurice Yvonne Canada Flag Canada Read
David Meade United States Flag United States Read
Kik Lil Ireland Flag Ireland Read
Emile Pinet Canada Flag Canada Read
Adam W. Hunter United States Flag United States Read
Silent One United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
KP Nunez Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Laura Breidenthal United States Flag United States Read
Lin Lane United States Flag United States Read
Frederic Parker United States Flag United States Read
Casarah Nance United States Flag United States Read