'The Houses of Parliament (Effect of fog)' by Christiane Conésa-Bostock | States of Poetry Tasmania - Series Two

Claude Monet, 1903–04

When in early morning
London fog throws its veil
of thick organdie over the Thames
dawn espouses dusk.
Confetti is spread over the town
and sequins of frosted dew glitter on the ground.
Victoria Tower, Big Ben and Central Tower
stand like gothic ghosts.

makes London beautiful
gives breadth to buildings
that become grandiose under its mysterious cloak.

Warehouses become palaces.

Fog is
its own country of subdued landscapes
its own symphony of yellow
orange and black
its own poetry.


France and England mingle in this fog.
Monet could be in Honfleur.
Or dining at the Auberge de Madame Toutain.
He is young again with Camille.
Now he is in his garden in Giverny with Alice.

On the Thames
the ghosts of drowned sailors linger.
Their souls call out but no one responds.
He too is silent and he refuses to accept
the cups of death they proffer him.
The pall of life falls on London Bridge.
His worlds are within a canopy of droplets.

Dreamtime phases out.
The bells of Big Ben re-enact these moments
and the habits of space and time
lie bare in this country of fog.

Christiane Conésa-Bostock

Christiane Conésa-Bostock

Christiane Conésa-Bostock

Christiane Conésa-Bostock was born in Lyon, France and has lived in Hobart since the 1970s. Christiane, along with The Grove Road Poets (Karen Knight, Liz Mc Quilkin, Liz Winfield, and Megan Schaffner), won First Prize in the Fellowship of Australian Writers competition in 2010 with their book Of Things being Various which was published in 2011.Christiane’s solo poetry collection De passage de France en Tasmanie was published in 2011. Her poems, essays, and stories have explored the migration experience. She has been published online, in literary reviews and books in France, Australia, the United States, and Algeria. She has read her poems at various venues in Australia and in Paris. She is presently working on a collection of poems based on Claude Monet’s paintings.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.