Octopus dusk – Elizabeth Gibson


in the hills above Vigo, Galicia


Perhaps I look lost up here, heavy and alone – but I have the pines and firs,

and I wander down the slopes of the mountain campus, catching Pokémon.


The air turns cool and soft. I catch an octopus. I take photos of the pink sky;

they will never come out right. I catch a bird, a fish, more strange critters


whose proper names I never remember. I stand under the chunky building

they call a bunker, but to me can only be a boat, slicing through the tree-sea.


Barely anyone lives up here, only us in the student digs shaped like a spider.

We sleep in its legs, in little rectangular rooms with long, tall windows


giving us ribbons of view: grassy mounds with orange cats, a pond of frogs,

a night full of crickets, heavy like me, and alone – but somehow also not.



Elizabeth Gibson headshot

Elizabeth Gibson is a writer and performer based in Manchester, UK. She is also the Editor and Photographer for Foxglove Journal. Liz has won a Northern Writers’ Award and been shortlisted for the Poetry Business’ New Poets Prize, and her work has appeared Cake, Cardiff Review, The Compass, Confingo, Litro and Strix among other journals. Liz blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.com and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @Grizonne.


Map logic – Elizabeth Gibson


How simple you are: a strip

of land, two big roads going

up like arteries, nothing more.

A thin triangle, a lone figure.

Past your head you crumble,

scattering fragments of earth

and water, hair that is rocky

and damp with storm. I can

place my hand over you and

I can ache for you. Yet I feel

distanced. I wonder whether

you were ever mine, really.


Here I am in the hexagon of

dreams. It is like a parachute

stretched out, the sort we ran

under as kids. It is also like a

star, as gaudy and as hot. We

are vast. We are a bloody big

country, you forget how big.

From Paris roads spiral out,

pulsing, like the white lines

of an orange. How can I feel

so alone here? We are so big.

We are connected. And yet…



Elizabeth Gibson is the founder of Foxglove Journal. She is a Masters student at the University of Manchester and a Digital Reporter for Manchester Literature Festival. She is a member of The Writing Squad and her work has appeared in The Cadaverine, London Journal of FictionFar Off Places, Octavius, Severine and Ink, Sweat and Tears. She won second prize in The Poetry Society’s 2016 Timothy Corsellis Prize. She tweets at @Grizonne, Facebooks at https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethGibsonWriterPoet and blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk.