Back Lanes by Mike Ladd

Place, to me, is not only about geography or a history of usage, but about feelings had in a particular location, feelings that can be re-drawn from the trees, the stones, the buildings.

Very many of my poems are placed here in Adelaide, either directly by naming physical features, or, more hopefully, by rendering the feel of the place. Outer and inner suburbs are my favourite territory, especially our galvanised iron laneways, as in this poem , Back Lanes


Applique of weathered tin and light-soaked stone,

overflow of fig, sultana vine and nectarine,

covert of the shadow bird, the flitting

darting passerines. Dark, delicious, deep

as in summer the last three fingers of shiraz –

the stories at the back of things,

the unknown “if”, the winding “as.”


Mike Ladd