Professional & cultural exchange program for social workers and youth workers

Council of International Fellowship-United States of America

Charles Startup passed away October 10, 2015. Read the story that appeared in a local newspaper in Ohio.

A poem by Charles Startup...

The sunlight streaming down from the windows
burnishes your armor. Over seven centuries ago
the same light burned away the morning mist
laying on a field and revealed you mounted
on your destrier, waiting for battle,
your lance pregnant with death.
Waiting for the moment to charge,
at Crecy, Poiters, Agincourt.
Still supple in steel,
the finest made in Milan,
and protected by greaves, esapaliers,
rondels and a coat of mail,
you are willing to give and take
a heart for Christ's sake.
On the field of battle
a flock of sparrows rose
from the land,
expanding like a giant lung
to harvest the light
and leave the field to you.
At dusk, near closing time in the museum,
the flickering shadows of twilight
coming from the windows
are reminders of the arrows from the longbows
that blackened the sky and stoked
your molten heart.
Now you rest here in the museum
between time and timelessness
waiting for the voice of heaven
to take you out of history.

A poem by Charles Startup...

A Visit to the Island of Birka, former Viking Capital

Children wrestle in
the tall meadow grass
among stones assembled
for graves.

Dusk, the time of day
I once played tag with my son
in Westwood Cemetery,
One would only be caught
between tombstones or trees.

Challenging me from behind a stone,
he darted into the oncoming darkness
To find another island of safety. Then,
when he thought he was hidden, he was
as quiet as the mystery that game him

Here at Birka
the children are out of sight.
Only the wind plunders
the meadow.

I find myself in a birch grove
that wrestles with the sky
and listen in a home
I had not expected
to find.

Charles startup