States of Poetry 2017 - ACT | 'The Notebooks' by Geoff Page

The Notebooks

Thirty years of dreams are stored
in notebooks, written down on waking.

Her daughter’s kept them all,
imagining her mother moves

among those shimmering and scribbled
layers on a bedside table.

Those narratives live on, she’s sure,
in all their raw hallucinations,

their sudden runs of ecstasy,
their weird humiliations.

Yet from her own the daughter knows
how quickly dreams disperse

albeit still a minor guide
to all that daylight tries to hide.

Geoff Page


‘The Notebooks’ derives from a conversation with a friend whose mother was one of Australia’s great writers. While almost everything was handed to the NLA, my friend (who’d prefer to remain anonymous) kept her mother’s dream notebooks. I haven’t spoken to her since about what use she’s made of them but it was an interesting decision. To most writers, dreams supply remarkable raw material, not always in ways that can be easily traced. – Geoff Page