By Jayne Marek
Nothing is Given is a selection from a meditation on poetics, natural cycles, and the nature of loss and pain. Loss of purpose while pursuing one’s life work threatens one with despair. In sections that develop images of water, circles, and other cycles, the natural imagery in Nothing is Givern soothes and eventually leads to a healing return to a mountain. Amid the poem’s stylistically diverse segments, the piece builds unity through its imagery as well as repeated use of epigraphs that, overall, point toward a philosophy of survival and grace amid suffering. The accompanying photographs evoke classic Japanese aesthetic qualities of temporality, asymmetry, and simplicity to invite a meditative repose about the balance between the shape, surface, and depth of water. What is there to fear if we learn to move with the ripples?
Jayne Marek has earned an MA and a PhD in literature. For fun, she then earned an MFA in creative writing. She publishes poetry, plays, and fiction as well as academic articles. She teaches courses in literature, writing, and film at a midwestern college.