Traveling Stanzas—Sunset

Illustration by Zuzana Kubisova '17

Illustration by Alison Farone, BFA '13


by Jaclyn Y. Garver

Clouds low on the horizon
float just above the land,
sink down from the dark and shadowed heavens,
the tropospheric Rockies, Alps, and Mount Olympus
for Zeus and his children.
A sliver of a fingernail reminds us
He watches. 

From deep lavender steel
to muddy golden mustard,
the canvas glows with thick acrylic.

The old man stretches his arm
out the car window, unfolds a finger,
swirls the pad of his pointer atop 
the wet paint. His final mark on the day is
important and indelible
for the next sixteen minutes,
when his sun god sets
and his proof of “I exist”
shimmers and fades
into a twilit night. 

The babies sleep deep, breathe
in that old magic,
and we live on. 

Poet: Jaclyn Y. Garver, BS ’05
Fort Wayne, Indiana

“I wrote ‘Sunset’ on the drive home from a wake. My husband’s grandfather, who died on July 4, was buried on what would have been his 75th wedding anniversary. The evening before his burial was a beautiful one, and the layered clouds struck me as a particularly poignant send-off.” 

Traveling Stanzas—an award-winning collaboration between the Wick Poetry Center and the School of Visual Communication Design—aims to facilitate a global conversation through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry. Featured poems are curated from global submissions and illustrated by Kent State students and alumni. 

Share Your Voice!

In partnership with Traveling Stanzas, Kent State Magazine will feature a poem by one of our readers in future issues. If your poem is selected by the Wick Poetry Center, it will be illustrated and appear in print and online versions of the magazine, as well as on the Traveling Stanzas homepage.

To submit your poem, visit, click “Submit,” and label it “Magazine Entry.” For more information, call Wick Poetry Center at 330-672-2067.

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