Ali Eckermann

(1963 - / Kaurna / Australia)


I walk to the south I walk to the north
where are you my Warrior?

I sit with the desert I sit with the ocean
where are you my Warrior?

I sing to the trees I sing to the rocks
where are you my Warrior?

I dance with the birds I dance with the animals
where are you my Warrior?

Heaven is everywhere
where are You?

I will show you a field of zebra finch Dreaming in the shadow of the stony hill ochre
when the soft blanket of language hums and kinship campfires flavour windswept hair

little girls stack single twigs on embers under Grandfathers skin of painted love
the dance of emu feathers will sweep the red earth with your smile

do not look at me in daylight; that gift comes in the night
tomorrow I will show Mother our marriage proposal in my smile

in the cave she rolls the big rock for table, for the desert wildflowers they pick each another
she carries many coolamons filled with river sand to soften the hard rock floor

she makes shelf from braided saplings to hold all the feathers given by the message birds
when he sleeps she polishes his weapons with goanna and emu fat till they glisten in fire light

he tells the story of the notches on his spear, the story of the maps on his woomera
their eyes fill with spot fires lit on his return

the other women laugh "get over yourself" they laugh "he's not that good"
she smiles she knows him in the night

there is love in the wind by the singing rock
down the river by the ancient tree
love in kangaroo goanna and emu
love when spirits speak no human voice
at the sacred sites eyes unblemished
watch wedge tail eagle soar over hidden water
find the love

Survival Day
I hear you as you sit
in silence your eyes search the Dreamtime
crammed in a modern world

Ah! there are the children of the Dreamtime
hands on thighs dancing
black legs beat drum and didgeridoo

Ah! there are the Grandmothers of the Dreamtime
quiet under shade trees alert for dangers
ready to fight protect and die

Ah! husbands and wives of the Dreamtime
share soul celebrations beyond the cultures
another baby of the Dreamtime will be born soon

Ah! all the Grandfathers sit silent
unmoving become rock face and sacred tree
the gibar magic man one with the earth

Ah! I see you on the horizon
in silence you search the Dreamtime
your eyes meet my silence

you reveal your presence with your smile

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 20, 2018

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