'Much of Lisa Bellear’s poetry is politics made eloquent. In Aboriginal Country many poems seem to spark with frustrated energy over Australia’s political crossed circuits regarding a treaty with our First Nations peoples – as promised by Prime Minister Hawke in 1988. Reading the title poem for the first time I was struck by its power. We are on Aboriginal Country in Australia. With subtle barbs she wakes us as to how the ‘ownership’ (via naming ‘rights’) of Australian public lands and monuments lauds absent white English royalty and ‘intrepid god fearing discoverers’. Yet in her closing lines the poet transforms this potential for bitterness into a moment of hushed respect for country.
– Jen Jewel Brown, Editor
'I am one of many Australians who never met Lisa Bellear, yet was shocked by her unexpected and tragic passing. These poems are her gift! In this collection the poems resonate her warrior spirit, and the spirit of Aboriginal Country, as was her wish.
– Ali Cobby Eckermann, Nunga poet and writer
'Lisa Bellear became a close friend when I studied and taught at Melbourne University from the mid-1990s. During that time she became renowned not only as a poet but also as a community photographer recording numerous events and people in the local Aboriginal community. Her sudden departure was a great shock to all who knew her, but she lives on in our memories because her poems and photographs are the powerful legacy she left us.
– Professor Gary Edward Foley, Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit, Victoria University' (Publication summary)
Contents : Aboriginal Country -- Dear Dja Baby Boori -- To no-one: And Mary did time -- Ruby was never seen again -- Poor Pretty Polly -- They named me King Billy -- The Rapist -- Love's Polished Floor -- Break the Cycle -- Mr Prime Minister (of Australia) -- Beautiful Yuroke Red River Gum -- Who hears our children's cries -- Tanna Man -- Artist Unknown -- Construct Me -- Cross through my heart -- A Suitcase Full of Mould -- Time to leave -- Mostar -- A Peaceable Existence -- Writer's Block -- Taxi -- Thirty Seconds -- Alive, alone Dreamtime -- My sister's apron -- Freedom Mandela -- A Found Poem -- Exhibition Building -- Federation Statement -- Message Failed -- Recommendation 339 -- Reconciliation spins my head -- Pursued -- Never again -- A Bridge to Reconcile -- Permission to scream -- To Wilfred Tapau -- Home -- A Significant Life -- Struggle on -- Come Dancin' -- Tears of hope -- The Jungas/police are coming -- Hear Yea, Hear Yea, Hear Yea -- Wailing and Listing of Clans, Language Groups, Nations -- Warriors without Treaties -- Imagined Reality -- Conversations (aka unfinished business) -- Heart to Heart.