Ali Cobby Eckermann

With all this wonderful springtime sunshine, it has been a gradual return to the internet, after four wonderful weeks spent recently in the Northern Territory, days spent out bush at Kalkarinji and Daguragu, Jilkminggan, Acacia and Mandorah! Oh to sit on country, amidst traditional Aboriginal people and language! This simple recipe fills my heart, and slows my wrinkles ha ha! I have grown to realise that life away from this is an exceptional life, often filled with potholes. I realise that separation from my cultural family cannot be sustained for too long a time. My safety net is my culture.

Here at Koolunga, in South Australia, the remnants of the Ngadjuri are scattered under a farmed landscape. This was a proud nation that was harshly dissipated by colonialism, in the mid 1800’s. I must sit very still to hear their story.

POEM
she sits on a rocky ledge
overlooking frog song
puncturing a choked river
at dusk

it is only here native birds sing
their evening lullaby
echoed between red banks
overgrown with weeds

it’s like life slips away in the evening
a resounding of Salientia castanets
soon to fall silent
like flaking moss

she listens for earth song
under the algae and foreign reeds
and just as darkness falls
a fish jumps rippling memory

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