Finding sanctuary, p.1
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Finding Sanctuary
Finding Sanctuary

Copyright 2017 Judith Lesley Marshall


Thank you for downloading this eBook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favourite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.



In 1809 Charles Darwin dropped anchor off the coast of New Zealand and declared it: ‘a chaos of delight.’ More than two centuries later I fulfilled a lifelong dream and embarked on a motor home tour of ‘Godzona.’

Poems inspired by that journey are woven into this collection which originally evolved from exploring the theme of ‘sanctuary.’ They can be read either as a series of steps or as a single story that can be enjoyed in one sitting.

They are dedicated to dreamers, travellers and explorers everywhere. I hope that you find something to surprise, amuse and delight you within their lines.


Table of Contents

No Entry



Carrion Call

No Exit

In Godzona


Festival Season

Night Walker


Alien Rock


Rainbow Serpent

Fly Away Home

Address Unknown

Into the Pit


In the Stillness

Finding Sanctuary

Porte Disparu

About the Author


No Entry

Sliding home the bolt

I turn to find

a flight of stone steps

descending into darkness,

fumble for the switch,

which flickers with a click

flooding the cellar

with violet light,

inhale the dank dust,

tiptoe to the bottom,

peep around the corner

of the white-washed walls.

I did not intend to trespass

on your private world

but the door was unlocked

and I needed a place to hide.



It was not murder

when you banished me

to my room,

nor manslaughter

when you grounded me

for a month,

Just a slow suicide

until I dissolved

into the shadow

of a spectral self,

which mirrored me

like a twin.

Nails bitten to the quick

I scratched nadia

into the frost

frozen on the inside

of the leaded glass –

aidan appeared in the pane.



You were the first

to see me for what I was,

a canary in a cage.

You would take me out,

but a bird with broken wings

cannot learn to fly,

Even in the arms of a lover

with enough free spirit for two.

You were my light,

my air, my insight

to the world outside.

The day you ceased to call

I fretted, lost my singing voice.

(First published in Masquerade: 2013)


Carrion Call

It all changed when the raptors moved in.

Not that I could see them,

but I could smell their stench,

could feel their blood red eyes

itching for the chance

to strip flesh from bone.

Pegged out by breed

and country of birth,

their eldritch screech lased

my mind, rattled my teeth,

shredded my walk

through the pine tree trail.

There was no more peace

in the old walled garden,

by the lily pad lake

or waterfall steps,

saturated by their carrion call.

It all changed when the raptors moved in.


No Exit

An echo of footsteps

betrays each tread

as dust motes spiral

like a cloud of midges

in the musty air.

From the top stair

torchlight reveals

a tumble of boxes

matted with cobwebs

and mouse droppings.

Floorboards bend and bow

as I press a path

through the spill;

clothes, shoes, records,

bags and books.

Strips of wallpaper

peel from the wall

like the bark of a birch,

fail to conceal

a forgotten door.

I fit the last key

into the lock,

turn the knob,

knock ‘rat a tat tat’…
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