Java Suite (Mike Ladd)

Under the transmitter towers
a papaya garden
receiving rain.

A thousand silent swallows came.
From you,
no message.

Feeling for the right stone
in opaque water —
fish-trap building.

Banana tree —
green flag
on a hill of plastic.

Its whole life
without a shred of waste —
the Java sparrow.


Mike Ladd was born to Australian parents in Berkeley, California in 1959, but grew up at Blackwood in the Adelaide hills. He has published 9 books of poetry and prose, including the haibun Karrawirra Parri: Walking the Torrens from Source to Sea. His latest collection, Invisible Mending, was published by Wakefield Press in 2016. Mike was the founding producer and editor of Poetica, ABC Radio National’s weekly poetry program, which ran from 1997 to 2015.