The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

NEW! Ave Maria University has released a description of its Pavel Chichikov Poetry Collection of printed, digital, and recorded materials.

Pavel's A House Rejoicing is available at, in print and on Kindle, and at Barnes & Noble. The cover art is "The Little Festive House," by Lisa Lorenz. Hear what Pavel says about the book. From Here to Babylon is also available in print and on Kindle.

Lion Sun: Poems by Pavel Chichikov, published by Grey Owl Press, is available at Amazon, or write to Read the review of Lion Sun on Scribble on the Net, an electronic journal of New Zealand and international poetry.  

Also by Pavel are Mysteries and Stations in the Manner of Ignatius  and Animal Kingdom, from Kaufmann Publishing. 

Pavel's poems inspired by Goya's etchings are at And a selection of his photos can be seen at Catholic Images by Pavel Chichikov.

Sylvia Dorham's moving The Book of  Names is available at See Pavel's review on the book page!

Enjoy artist Timothy Jones's blog page, which features his painting "Fallen Oak."  

Poet Charles Van Gorkom's blog may be found here.

All poems on this page are by Pavel Chichikov. They may be freely distributed, if not for profit, upon the permission of Pavel Chichikov ( and must be credited to Pavel Chichikov. No alterations in the text may be made. All copyright restrictions apply.




Memorial Day

Courtesy Father Julian’s Blog





The hillside filled with flags that wave like grass

Gravesides swept and garnished with remembrance,

Monday is the day of reminiscence,

Wind has clasped the graves in its embrace


Who preserves the resonances, keeps

Precisely in their minds the wars that fade,

When they lived the flags above the streets

Quickened with their colors their parades


Visitors bring symbols to this hill—

The graves of those so lovingly they tend

With flags are void, no spirit may be killed,

The wars are buried here and not the men






Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) flowers; photo by Archenzo

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





A clear fine day in middle spring,

On rising ridges five miles off

Single trees reveal themselves


But as the locust sconces blossom

White and lilac pendant clusters

And as the clover blooms its wool


There are no bees to forage here

A desolation, holocaust -

Is there no one to see and fear?


They are the sentinels of God

Withdrawing from their outer posts

As we within the fortress feast







We plant a garden, then it rains

What have we done to draw such clouds?

The sun comes out but seeds remain,

What germs are these that cry aloud?


Rain comes down as red as rust,

What crop will manifest its fruit?

First the harvest of the just

Ripped and shrieking from the root


We had been exiled so we spread

The only seeds that we could take

To cultivate this crop instead:

Narcissus and the red mandrake







Delightful when the north wind blows

In middle May, the iris blooms,

Spruce leans over, spreads its fringe,

The woodland shows its winding rooms


Tonight a summer heat withdraws,

Tonight there will be near a frost,

Today the sun will reach the height

Of gliding hawks in dazzle lost


Tonight will fete a crescent moon

Above the meadows overgrown

By sweet new grass the rabbits graze,

A bear with one green eye alone


Slides like oil from inner rooms

Along the aisles of hemlock trees,

A blackness in the meadow looms,

It is the one green star I see






Krista Machovina (b. 1972), “Wild Boar”

Courtesy Krista Machovina




To destroy a people, you must first sever their roots. —Solzhenitsyn


And so the great hog roots and snuffs

The swine of underworlds unseen,

Ploughs the fallow and the ripe,

Slits the stalk where children gleaned


Long of muzzle, yellow tusked

It slavers over root and grain,

Sparse of hair along the rump

But coarse and tangled is the mane


Where it passes nothing grows,

The feet have scattered poisoned seeds

It scuffed from Hell when it came up,

Where clouds give never rain but bleed


It is the beast of lawlessness

Of chaos and sterility,

As it champs it drops its brood

Insatiable in vanity







Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), “The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin; The Flight into Egypt”

Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

Courtesy Web Gallery of Art






Who’s not ever tempted by the false desire

To be regarded, courted, feted, well-admired?

Truly it is better to be silent, small

The donkey of Nativity who kept his stall

To breathe upon the Christ child but was ill-accounted,

On which the Christ the blessed one was safely mounted

Entering Jerusalem in lowly state -

Palm leaves were the Passover the donkey ate


Now be still, be silent and make not a sound

For silence more than anything is most profound -

The signal to the prophet that the Lord preferred

Was not the quake or burning that Elijah heard,

Low and deep as oceans and the deep abyss

And who would not be humble at the sound of this?

Power deep beyond our hearing and our sight

And to be still and small beneath it good and right







It’s knotty to describe it but here goes

When you give a good without reward

Some have said the pleasure of the gift

Is in itself a carnal hedonism

And therefore call self-giving an illusion


But they mistake externals for the essence

For if I give without a recompense

Not even gratitude or recognition

The act itself becomes objective truth

That neither I nor one anyone can see


It is an object rising, an ascension

The way the Christ ascended from the Earth

An object which achieves its full dimension

No matter how much pleasure or how little

My deed affords, or anyone can know


And this is how I see it now, a sphere

Of perfect love, as if a golden world

A symbol of an infinite circumference

Orbiting the blessed One, the Lord

Who from the center couples every soul


But I have read how rabbis recommend

This method of distributing a sum

On the giver’s coattail sew a pocket

And let a sum of alms be dropped inside

So that the giver may not see who takes it






James Tissot (1836–1902), “Christ Appears on the Shore of Lake Tiberias”

Brooklyn Museum

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





He likes to fish, said Peter’s wife

He won’t catch much but who can tell

And who can stop him, off he goes

With that crew of ne’er do wells


His heart is broken and he’s scared

But fishing calms him well enough,

The sea is quiet until dawn,

By afternoon it can be rough


There he goes to ease his heart

The water peaceful, there it lies

By quarter moon before the dawn,

A current takes the boat coastwise


Fist and haul the empty net

To mend the meshes where it frayed,

Shoreward slowly they ride in

Though counting fish they might have stayed


Nothing ever really changes

Dreams that happened floating free,

It won’t come back but oh so strange

The figure on the beach they see






Here is what I leave, I give to you

Water from the desert that I drew,

This desiccated ground delivered up

Enough to bring a brimful to a cup


Not much, I know, but better than a thirst

In this denying desert, red and cursed,

I wish it could be more, but this I found

Secreted in the channels underground


Take the cup of water, drink, it will

By scraping of the soil of God refill,

The rains may come or not, no one can tell,

There may be more beneath you for a well




The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified May 24, 2015/
Poems copyright 1994-2015 Pavel Chichikov/  

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