round window view of the ocean
Photo by Johannes Rapprich on

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.


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