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

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



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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