5,000 miles in a 747
have taken you to Harris Beach, Oregon,
to find Sea Rocket by the boardwalk
where nobody will ever know your name
and the place you’ve come from:
Seaburn, where the same genus of plant
stowed perchance in cargo holds
to unfurl in spores at Hendon Docks
now protrudes from dunes by the North Sea
which you know doesn’t know your name.
Later, looking into the window front
of the Brookings branch of the Democrats
you’re mistaken for an eager voter
who shares a common belief
in free access to public health care.
Pineapple Weed grows in the slats
of paving here, too—the way it does
on the Ash path where your parents live.
Some things you know the names for,
others you’re yet to learn.
About the Author:
Jake Morris-Campbell is a writer, critic and tutor based in Tyne & Wear. He has published two pamphlets of poetry: The Coast Will Wait Behind You (Art Editions North) and Definitions of Distance (Red Squirrel Press). This poem is from a sequence written for Stringing Bedes: A Poetry and Print Pilgrimage, a Heritage Lottery Funded project which linked the twinned Wearmouth-Jarrow monasteries in 2015-16.