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.
A suite for The Gryphon Trio
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”
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”
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”
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”
A breach opens. In
becomes out. Stunning
din of a sob. Hold on!
Your scarred skin boat — in-
Mary Ruefle, “Furtherness”
Michael Ondaatje, “[Kissing the Stomach]”
Margaret Avison, “Patience”
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”
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 Coles, “Landslides”
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”
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