Matthew Kohut

Pine Row Issue No. 9 Spring 2024 - Featured Poet

Rocinante y Babieca


As the neighbor’s horses enter the meadow,

they race in a circle around an invisible fire,

hooves drumming to the beat of a corrido

recounting ancestral tales of power and glory,


before drifting off in pairs to graze on

sweet grass softened by evening dew.


* * * * *



Walking Each Other Home


when you called


we walked in small steps

from the middle of the bridge


small steps

to safety


one after another

until our feet


reached solid ground


* * * * *


Forty Days


February 22


The last moments of sun brighten 

a stand of trees naked without leaves, 

glowing like stacks of pennies. 


I chase the rays up the street  

but the sky grows darker with each step  

and fifty yards later they vanish. 


I turn back slowly toward the house,  

huffing for breath.  


March 21


The deep freeze has melted

into a month of mud,


clay that does not wash easily 

off rubber boots or dog’s paws.


The waiting has ended—

now the day divides evenly 

between dark and light.


We eat supper without lamps,

marveling at the simple thrill 

this brings once again.


April 9


The charm of goldfinches 

is invisible at first.


One lands on a wire

as another takes flight.


A slow gaze left to right

reveals constant motion,


touchdowns and takeoffs

in all directions,


choreography beyond 

what my eye can see.


I yield to mystery.

About the poems:  as shared by the poet

Who or what is among your greatest influences/influencers in poetry, as you've played with this form of expression?

Among many, W.S. Merwin, Donald Hall, and Charles Wright are three whose work I keep revisiting. 

Why does poetry matter?

Poetry matters only because people keep writing and reading it. One thing I noticed during the height of the pandemic was how many people turned to poetry. It fulfills a human need for expression. We can't seem to live without it.  

What do you believe is ahead for poetry communities?

The digital realm has connected me with poets I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. It's easier than ever to build community across geographies. At the same time, I see poets turning to limited print runs through independent presses that bypass the digital gatekeepers. I'm for all of it.

Anything else you'd like the readership to know - upcoming book, website, etc.?

Several other published poems are available here:

Matthew Kohut has worked as a writer, teacher, and musician. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, River Heron Review, and Wild Roof Journal, among other publications. He is the co-author of two books of nonfiction.

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