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  • Writer's pictureHaydn Wheeler

Mum, A Covid Pandemic And A Clubmen poem.

The Clubmen of Dorset

"If you offer to take our cattle

be assured we will bid you


That was the cry of The Clubmen of


4000 of them, in 1645

Their cry was to the soldiers on both sides.

A civil war that was decimating

our land & they would

not oblige

To stop the carnage and killing that destroyed our peace

the soldiers took the people's

possessions and livestock and would

not cease

No payment was given and no thanks for a deed

Just killing, taking, as though they did not witness their action

A war unjust, a country grieved .

A poem by Barbara Wheeler

In early June of 2021 my mum Barbara Wheeler passed away from pneumonia. This was sudden and a great shock. Stories shared by those that lost loved ones of covid or because of covid is ever growing. I as with many have a story which in common with others includes watching mum go by ambulance to hospital, then not allowed to be with or visit and getting that call to be allowed only to say goodbye.

Joining several across platforms as the likes of The Good Grief Channel and Sue Ryder Bereavement Forums has allowed me to write about my grief and circumstances brought about by covid and restrictions around hospitals and funerals.

At the top of this page is a poem my mum had penned, where she had The Clubmen in mind and what I believe was penned in the first March 2020 lockdown.

Mum wrote all the time. Poems, short stories even screenplays were put to ink by her hand. In sorting my late parents house out I discovered boxes of the written word by mum. She was as said, forever putting her thoughts to paper, speaking of loss herself regards her husband, my dad Roy and her parents. This is I have discovered is a double edged sword. It is though, a wonderful thing to have such a record of my mums thoughts, but a sadness comes over me when reading. As being her son I am so close to the source of, even part of when included in a poem or story.

The street I was born on is long demolished and as of the now stage one has started on the levelling of the street I grew up on and where my mums last days were spent. There is something of the ironic in my interest in The Clubmen when it comes to plunder. I feel myself a plunder upon. The sense of loss attached to grief where the absence of your loved ones is a presence in itself and a demolition of where you once lived gone, where you played as a child is now being demolished, it brings a "if you bid me battle" cry rising of anger in oneself .

This really is a need I felt to include my mum's poem on The Clubmen to page and put some context to my own thoughts surrounding a discovery of that poem.

A wise sentence put to me via a friend when hearing of the passing of my mother still sticks with me five months on.

"Its a good thing your parents gave you an inner tube"

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