Ali Cobby Eckermann has been compared to Oodgeroo Noonuccal; the comparison does equal honour to both women. From the majestic cadence of the title poem, it is exciting to encounter these elegant, apparently simple, barbed and wonderful poems. Eckermann defines and celebrates her Aboriginal world. Her ‘Warriors at Salt Creek’ reminded the judges of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Requiem for the Croppies’. But then the landscapes and place-scapes are similarly bulked with history and meaning. ‘Cross Road’, ‘Marry Up’ and ‘Monsoon’ are just three translucent poems from this collection that carry Eckermann’s even, compelling voice. Her poems are elegiac but, by asserting the humanity of people and places, they are also celebrations.
Her poem ‘Eyes’ can be read as an endorsement for the poet herself:
The eyes of terror she has thrown away
the eyes of submission are blinded now
she avoids the eyes of shame…