13 February 2017

Madness and Muse

By Bud Koenemund

For "Her."

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." - John Keats

I hold your memory against my will;
Sentiment which imperils sanity
When every thought and dream reminds me still
Of the fool who gave devotion blindly.
But, this world won’t stop for a broken heart.
Indifferent to pain, both moon and sun
Rise, shine, then retire without regard;
Beg heaven for pity, you’ll receive none.
These things I desire can never be
Real. Love, fidelity lasting past death –
Blessed by madness and muse – is fantasy;
Affection shrouded in the dragon’s breath.
   Misery, it seems, lives joy’s companion;
   Torment entwined with beauty and passion.

07 February 2017

The Brightness of Heaven Outshined

By Bud Koenemund

For Lindsay

What power lies hidden in beauty’s eyes –
Enchanting and mysterious – to seize
My heart; kindling passion undisguised
By modesty? Could any galaxy’s
Stars counterfeit the radiance I find
In those orbs? O, even angels enskied
Must praise the brightness of heaven outshined;
Mere ash compared ‘gainst emeralds rarified.
But, time has cursed me to live in shadow,
Lacking the incandescence of your grace;
And yet, I will stumble forward unbowed,
Desiring thy kiss ere death’s embrace.
   While words can celebrate organs of sight,
   These verses pale in your eternal light.

31 December 2016

Heart for Heart

By Bud Koenemund

For "Her."

My affection was never held secret;
Attraction confessed; with all its defects,
Sentiment lay exposed from the outset;
Unguarded; lust defeating intellect.
I offered self, desiring the same –
Heart for heart, hand for hand, and soul for soul;
Love enkindling passion without shame;
Intense spirits blazing beyond control.
But, yearning could not win respect, and pleas
Fell on ears deaf to solicitation.
Emotion withered, leaving me lonely,
As desolation replaced devotion.
   Despite intention pure, and honor sworn,
   Everything was too much to ask for.

16 November 2016

Angry Muses

By Bud Koenemund

I fear the Muses have abandoned me;
Withdrawing with them that inspiration
Given so freely when I praised beauty
And love in songs of foolish emotion.
The cause ignored, those Nine of myth recede
In solidarity with their sister;
Mortal, though no less capable to breed
Lyric – a tenth goddess whose whispers stir.
This penance – punishment for protecting
My heart – has crippled both rhythm and rhyme;
As words wither, a poet disaffects
Life sans verses gifted past midnight’s chime.
   Her voice has faded from my memory,
   While creation crumbles in fantasy.

09 November 2016


By Bud Koenemund

“I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine
and rage the likes of which you would not believe.”
– Mary Shelley

There is, too oft’, a war within my mind;
‘Twixt Good and Evil; the Dark Side and Light;
Intellect struggling to resist blind
Ignorance as shadows obscure the right.
Like poison unchecked, discontent infects
My soul, arousing inhumanity;
A monster existing disaffected
Toward empathy, risking insanity.
Why must I continue this conflict ‘gainst
Self, denied solace in another’s hand;
Some being like me to re-kindle sense,
Restore hope, and grant ease from life’s demands?
   Solitude only nourishes my rage,
   And bitterness grows as love dies away.

22 August 2016


By Bud Koenemund

For Shaindel Beers

I wish to protect thee – in my fashion.
Drop everything, rush there, and shield you
From the world; from doubt; from yourself; dragons
Immortal; fears forever pursuing.
Training dictates action, see? My father;
Gary Cooper; John Wayne; the Infantry;
Always taught to defend the weak – rather
Smothering with attempts at chivalry.
‘Tis ever man’s hubris, I’ve learned: seeking
To support a survivor; these labors
Merely re-arranging deck chairs, sinking
Slowly into comments on the d├ęcor
   While you heal; for thou art no damsel
   In distress, but a heart indomitable.

17 June 2016

A Better Sonnet for Christina Alvarado

By Bud Koenemund

There are dangers every poet knows:
The Lake of Goo, and mindfields filled with words
Defective; emotion twisting their prose,
Or adherence to a form which can blur
Function – risking misinterpretation.
Still they muddle, matching rhythm and rhyme
In little songs to show admiration;
Praise courting immortality while time
Demands submission. Although memory
Will fade away, these verses shall endure
Forever – love sans ambiguity;
Bestowed with reverence and intent pure.
   Absent voice, I pen my exaltation:
   To Venus, and Muse, in celebration.

14 June 2016


By Bud Koenemund

For Orlando (12 June 2016)

Did you think violence would bring victory?
That enmity could force change in nature?
Make even one surrender liberty?
Gay, straight, transgender – we’re all God’s creatures!
Every bullet fired; each knife thrust;
Senseless pain inflicted; epithet hurled;
Nose fragmented, rib bruised, or head concussed
Enflames our hearts – the pulse filling this world.
Yes, your venom stole life, but love lives on;
Flourishing; shining through the ignorance
Of hate. And, that kiss which enraged shall bond
Us in celebration of difference.
   Diversity strengthens our unity,
   We will rise together – humanity!

24 May 2016

Love: 1998 - 2016 (Part VI: Freedom)

By Bud Koenemund

For "Her."

Shall a heart incandescent with love be
Consumed by hate? Must one choke the other –
Torment equaling passion’s quantity –
‘Til embers of desire are smothered;
Expiring sans wisp, ash, smoke, or rack –
Token corporeal to signify
Its extinction? Ignored, fervor turns black,
Eclipsing all that light once beautified.
Respect died in a doppelganger’s eye;
Could I not see myself mirrored in him?
Recalling what might have been magnified
My grief, but catharsis yielded freedom.
   Two decades lost can never be regained,
   Though affection lives again unconstrained.

23 May 2016

Love: 1998 - 2016 (Part V: Repentance)

By Bud Koenemund

For "Her."

Oh, Lady; I believed, and so oft’ swore
My passion, like the stars, would never cool –
Thy heart held in mine, forever adored.
Alas, love, once more, has proved me a fool.
These words have grown repetitive; complaints
Monotonous – despite intention pure –
And fervor neglected has finally waned,
For you could not be mine as I was yours.
The offense lies tattooed upon my soul –
Indelible, and irredeemable –
As life, it seems, demands a monstrous toll;
Leaving voice censured, and mind unstable.
   I do at last repent that affection;
   Praying some power will grant redemption.