SCAR TISSUE sources

Thank you for visiting this page. Below you will find all nine parts of the poem “Scar Tissue”. The words of other poets are in another colour. In each section, the colour of the quote will correspond to the author’s name and the poem the words come from.

SCAR TISSUE

A suite for The Gryphon Trio

1. Unity

This body and its grace of being—

I sing gratitude full of feeling

for telomeres and collagen. Our

 

world is the dream we’re having while we

live these lives on earth. So this is who

I am, this body. Hallellujah!

 

Don’t be bothered by death. Unity

is only for the here and now. We

must mourn, come night, so let’s celebrate.

 

William Wordsworth, “One’s-Self I Sing”

Sharon Olds, “This”

John Donne, “Elegy Twelve: His Parting From Her”

 

2. Change

 

In the present, it only feels

like things are staying still. The green

fuse burns and sparks life. Your body

 

will change by the end of this song.

It’s hard to live by wits alone.

 

You still need nature on your side.

Today, the rain: Plip plip then (crack!)

it’s boiling everywhere now.

 

Dylan Thomas, “The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower”

Margaret Avison, “Cloudburst”

 

3. Growth

 

A star probably still has light,

don’t doubt that herald, flying

 

at its own speed to glow here

on you. Starblown energy

charged with fire.  Change is the

 

nursery of music, joy,

life and eternity.  Sing it.

 

Paul Celan, “The Straightening”

John Donne, “Elegy 3: Change”

 

4. Disturbance

 

And now good morrow to

our waking souls. Pain has

 

an element of blank —

 

it cannot recollect

 

when it began, nor re-

call its first disturbance.

 

John Donne, “The Good Morrow”

Emily Dickenson, “The Mystery of Pain”

 

 

5. Wound

 

A breach opens. In

becomes out. Stunning

 

din of a sob. Hold on!

 

Your scarred skin boatin-

 

conceivable now.

 

Mary Ruefle, “Furtherness”

Michael Ondaatje, “[Kissing the Stomach]”

Margaret Avison, “Patience”

 

6. Debris

 

For when         I look at you,

even a moment,           no

 

speaking is left in me.

 

I’m never alone now.

 

My God, how we all               swiftly

swiftly unwrap our lives.

 

Anne Carson/Sappho, Fragment #31

Don Coles, “How We All Swiftly”

 

7. Relict

 

The savage pianist

annually growing hands

 

to salvage music from notes.

The lost arpeggio ends

in fatty acids drowned

 

in so many singing mouths.

Just press my hand if you know.

 

Don McKay, 

Don McKay, “?”

Don Coles, “Landslides”

 

8. Recovery

 

Phosphatidylinositol,

is central to metabolic

 

processes. It’s like a music

 

that plays under everything, and

no one knows it. It wounds without

 

the pleasure of a scar. I am

 

carried in my shadow like a

violin in its black case.

 

Paraphrased from Wikipedia

Michael Ondaatje, “The Cinnamon Peeler”

Tomas Tranströmer, “April and Silence”

 

9. Renewal

 

The maidens sang a holy song and

straight up the air went amazing sound!

A small child says, ‘I love you’  and lilies

 

in the yard throw open the doors of

the heart.  Accept Lord Mother/Father

the briefness of this life you’ve granted.

 

As proof of my love, I offer this.

Pity my voice burning in your mouth:

Eros comes nowhere near this bliss.

 

Anne Carson/Sappho, Fragment #44

Don Coles, “Abrupt Daylight Sadness”

Mary Ruefle, “Nothing Like the Earth”

bpnichol, “Continental Trance”

John Donne, adapted from “Witchcraft by a Picture”

Anne Carson/Sappho, Fragment 44Aa

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