Matt Clendon pg.1
Matt Clendon pg. 3
Elephant toast
The Gate is Locked
Wordflair Community of Poets and Writers

© 2015  
Matt Clendon
all rights
The Tortoise Who Saved the World

The tortoise who 
saved the world
is a laid back kind of dude.

Hurry to do anything, no,
but if a plan is required, he’ll oblige
with thoughtful countenance;
quite the articulate hand, and prefers
to be addressed as “Shelley.”

You want to know who
really cracked
WWII’s Enigma code,
and who first accurately predicted
global shell warming
on worldwide scales, hush,
I’ve probably said much too much.

Who do world leaders turn to
in times of undeniable crisis
when things get slowly out of hand?

Well, he doesn’t have a little
green phone
on a porpoisely made desk
for nothing.

When it flashes,
he’ll always pick up (eventually)
even while in the middle of eating
evening salad at the Savoy,
he has discerning tastes, 

“A leaf a day keeps the carnivores away,”
as he is known to say 
over a carrot juice or two.

The leaders have come to expect it
to ring a few times, but is the wait
worth it?

'Pick up, goddamnit!'

I jotted this down while waiting,
and still the colonel refuses to greet that 

Damn turtle wannabee’ as Shelley.

“You really must, sir, he likes it,”

- Assistant to the president.

Only Needs a Stamp

Mr Chas Jones of Comfort,
I write to you sir, regarding
your recently received letter.

The content of which was alarming.
Of the many snakes that squirmed
from its verbiage, know that they
were promptly set ablaze on my fire,
where they wriggled
like serpentine exclamation marks!

I also dealt more than adequately
with the odious gases, having read
such a spillage before on numerous
occasions from your evil tongue.

I can only add that the sixteen shillings
that you seen to think I owe you,
are merely a figment of your fever,
perhaps you’ve been overdoing things
on the fiction front?

Curse all you will sir but I’m going
to withdraw my subscription to
Reader’s Digest forthwith.

Damn you to hell, sir!

Ps. I did enjoy the story about the
“Tortoise who saved the world”, but felt
the pace a little laboured.

Yours, Ms E Pilkington (retired librarian)


Into the castle grounds 
comes the courier 
and the Dark Lord himself 
tonight prevails, prevents 
all messages from entering, 
adding danger upon danger 
and terror to the skies! 

Onwards the white owl flies, 
from rampart to icy rampart, 
into the conjured snow, 
against irresistible 
back-turning malevolent winds, 
how they measure 
the determined beats 
of his loyal, weathered, 
pale outstretched wings. 

These protected castle walls, 
with broken ledges unlandable 
and windows as slippery 
as Slytherins turned red-faced 
from rained counter charms; 
so tossed once more to the 
rump of the tower grounds. 

Yet, some things do swerve 
past the evil minded defenses 
time after time again to be 
repeated in cheered sentences, 
qualities of hope, friendship, 
fine feathers and 

"You do exaggerate, Hedwig, 
This is the Dursley's!" 

coughed Harry shutting out the hail, 
three groupie sparrows, 
a robin interpreting every word, 
two tawny teenage owls, 
and a puffed-up boasting bird. 

And to continue with this tale 
of what safely did land 
(I'm sure you understand) 
a wet, Gryphindor owl, 
and a soaked note from Ron, 
carefully flattened to dry out entire 
by an electric muggle fire. 
Candice Cat

Candice cat is a cat of means,
which often means
being extremely mean to mice,
and believe me the rodents
have learnt to steer well away,
even a tasty Irish cheddar
won’t tempt them, except in winter
when they draw straws
behind grandfather’s clock.

The ‘losers’ tossed nimbly into air
before reaching backdoor stair,
cries shushed with a brushing tail,
a fine whisker away from cheesed grail,
letting them think they’ve escaped,
but alas they never do;
Candice is just too accomplished.

She watches their eyes bulge
as paws slice heads deliberately
in 4/4 time of a conductor, leaving the ears
which are spat out black tobacco later,
a little sadistic streak her fur has,
it’s in the dark hair roots.

Candice prizes tinned sardines
with stiffened mice tails
instead of regular pull-rings,
and other ingenious feline things,
she listens to Mozart on the garden wall
when the neighbour plays piano,
with eyes half closed, all a purr,
claws practising timing.

Her lair is clothed with fragile bones,
wizened frogs’ legs, undigested kidneys
and other very strange business,
with an upturned plastic bowl
that presents, in pastel letters
“Candice, my sweet kitty.”

By Torchlight

Every blade walked by, 
a whisper caught in the fields. 

Last night I thought 
of trees framing a lost refuge, 
leaves like circling hands, ensuring 
all did not collapse away 
to some imagined non-existence. 

Grasses swam hush time around, 
bent their fixed evening 
my way, and then wild carpeted 
in empathy once more. 

Seemingly undirected 
a night scene leaned in from above 
and openly listened; each star 
an acknowledging blink. 

Past times in nature nodded back, 
quite stopped me in my tracks 
and I had to walk from here to there. 

Every blade walked by, 
a whisper caught from the fields. 
Golden Oak Tree
© Matt Clendon
A Straight Line Has No Corners

Days lead into days 
of straight ahead lines, 
I am just an ordinary, 
old schooled legionary 
out of time with his world. 
In a century imagined 
I'd never see, 
scarred from too many battles 
with Barbarians.

Our monuments 
they've alas crumbled, 
given themselves unwillingly 
to the sea, not wanting to be 
rediscovered, "Carpe Diem" 
thrown upon its head; 
a plaque under the waves.

I've Viewed the statues 
of the Gods and Goddesses 
from sideline standpoints, 
caught fish swimming through 
their armless elbows, 
necklaces of pearl, azure, 
just precious weights 
to submerge in transition.

There's emptiness within 
those marble set features, 
the missing limbs, chiseled lips, 
from subtle to strong Roman noses 
once so carefully formed, 
now broken, askew; 
as if that's what they always 

On the new shoreline 
you stood beside me, my love, 
posed in their place, smiled. 
Shook the old world from your hair 
like Neptune's daughters 
discarding tridents for a nets, 
and it was no use denying, 
we soldiers were captured 
by a different pace, along a path 
which really didn't matter 
how direct it was.

You can't fight every war, 
sometimes you just have to live.