12 June 2022

All the Words in the World

By Bud Koenemund

How oft’ did verses take birth in your eyes;
As if each glimpse granted inspiration?
I prayed those poems to Heaven would fly,
And sway thy bosom with proofed affection.
I wanted, for us, immortality –
Bestowing fame lasting beyond our years;
This ambition surpassing vanity:
More a devotion of toil and tears.
In the end, though, my efforts achieved
Nothing but changing pain for passion true;
When desire conspired to deceive
An ever foolish man who dared love you.
   This song mourns the impotence of my art;
   For all the words in the world won’t win your heart.

23 May 2022

Command Performance

By Bud Koenemund

Just a bit of silliness, really; for D.

O, would-be muse, with skin brown and creamy;
Commanding a little song all your own –
Verses at once poetic and steamy –
While the taste of thy kiss remains unknown.
Shall my pen toil at your beck and call?
Pray, what recompense will this effort gain?
Wilt thou sate these appetites after all?
I do entreat some pleasure for this pain.
Must I rely on fantasy alone
To enkindle such creative fires;
When amorous thoughts leave me all undone,
As I expound on lust and desire?
   Should my words of praise not garner some fee;
   Or, as art for art’s sake, be rendered free?

06 May 2022


By Bud Koenemund

For T.

“Bud will do it so he won’t get in trouble.
No; Bud will do it so nobody else gets in trouble!”

It seems, somehow, you see the things in me
I’ve always attempted to keep hidden –
Disguised by sarcasm and apathy –
Wielding rapier wit as a defense
‘Gainst pains which too oft’ accompany care.
Fear of losing what I would protect cuts
Deeply – a hazard when confidence wears
Thin – and existence grows wearisome. But,
Viewing myself through your eyes inspires
My spirit; becoming the healing balm
To soothe those torments of a mind mired
In self-doubt: long denied solace and calm.
   I will never be one of God’s best men,
   Yet, you perceive virtues beyond my ken.

05 May 2022


By Bud Koenemund

Grief will never refuse a chance to sneak
Up on me – quickening darkness; breeding
Sorrow; tearing apart defenses weak;
Leaving sanity broken and bleeding.
It taints the verses of a thousand songs;
Barely remembered poems can spark life;
Trapping my mind amidst numberless wrong
Turns – where memory waits with whetted knife.
This monster aims not to kill, but open
Wounds thought healed by time; renewing my pain.
Misery, faded – almost forgotten –
Returns, overwhelming what peace I’ve gained.
   Someday, one hopes, suffering may convert;
   For now, there are no days it doesn’t hurt.

08 April 2022


By Bud Koenemund

For T.

There is no pain like love unrequited –
Suffering which follows passion denied –
Save torment found in longing unvoic’d;
An anguish the heart endures in silence.
Indeed, these agonies hurt equally;
Each torturing body, spirit, and soul;
Impossible for mortal man to quell
Before that day when fate’s final bell tolls.
‘Tis no secret this emotion is fraught
With danger – a leap leaving all exposed
In hopes another will share the same thought:
Becoming one from two; by love enclosed.
   No solace inhabits a mind abused;
   Tell her, or do not – I can only lose.

07 April 2022


By Bud Koenemund

For T.

The electricity of fingertips
Brushing ‘gainst my back creates a maelstrom
In the mind. Rationality is stripped
Away while intellect sputters – struck dumb.
What words can I use to describe your touch;
When every attempt, it seems, falls short;
Leaving language languishing as I clutch
At rhythm and rhymes? I give praise to court
Thy favor, but remain ever aware
Your hand is forbidden to mine; a fact
My brain accepts – though it flays the heart bare,
And sanity spirals in cataract.
   This verse can make no claim to innocence;
   Nor should be damned as mere concupiscence.

05 February 2022


By Bud Koenemund

For Lindsay

I’ll never again feign lust innocence;
Nor pretend my intentions remain pure.
Rather, I admit this concupiscence;
A heat impossible to endure
When both body and mind burn with desire.
I fear an inferno will engulf all;
Demanding ever more, as the fire
Blazes beyond control. I am enthralled –
My hunger increasing with ev’ry taste –
Being consumed, yet yearning further; the toll
A consequence eagerly embraced,
As I surrender my eternal soul.
   Your perfection would tempt angels toward sin,
   And bring devils back to the light again.

17 January 2022

Variations on a Theme

By Bud Koenemund

‘Tis true, I must confess, many of these
Little songs seem only variations
On a theme – rhythms, with rhymes meant to please
The eye: imperfect stabs at perfection.
Yet, what idea, save love, could entice
Such verse prolific; praise so inspired;
Promises of passion and sacrifice,
Whether facing Heaven or hellfire?
I do fear repetition may dampen
A heart’s assessment of sincerity;
Though that judgment will never lessen
Zeal; nor taint these musings with perversity.
   My form is rough; iambs full of defects;
   But, pray, let this not detract from respect.

06 December 2021

Fire Cannot Feed Upon Itself

By Bud Koenemund

With apologies to Galway Kinnell

Fire cannot feed upon itself. Lacking
Fuel to sustain, it will suffocate;
Dying away – light dwindling toward black –
As flames, once furious, quickly abate.
To make it burn, I threw my whole self in;
Sacrificing pride; nourishing our spark;
Then realized I could never kindle
Passion matching mine; that knowledge a stark
Reminder of the wasteland devotion
Leaves behind – solitude seared in my soul;
Scorched by incendiary emotion,
While embers, neglected too oft’, grow cold.
   The love extinguished cannot be renewed;
   Yet, memory smolders with thoughts of you.

30 June 2021

From Crush to Crushed (Part VI): One Lie

By Bud Koenemund

“I just want you to be happy.” I lied.
The first, and only, one I told her;
After ruin inevitably denied
Those flames I fought to kindle – smoldering
Embers never reaching incandescence.
It’s bullshit. I know it. She knows it, too.
Still, it’s what you offer – at pride’s expense –
When there’s nothing else to say; naught to do.
Yet, even in this deception lives truth;
Despite betrayal, I cannot wish pain
On a soul once adored, but seek to soothe
Their conscience, while my own heart is constrained.
   I can’t pretend as if I didn’t care;
   Obliterating the affection dared.