The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! See Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. Check out the hawk on Domestic and Wild.

Pavel's latest collection of poems, So Tell Us, Christ, is now available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. The cover art is "El Salvador"  by El Greco, from the Museo del Greco in Toledo.

Ave Maria University's Special Collections include printed, digital, and recorded materials by Pavel Chichikov. The university is currently developing a new Website.

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. 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. 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

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

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.

Please note: Pavel has no connection with CivFanatics and never has had.



(April 23 is Divine Mercy Sunday.) 



Divine Mercy Icon

Courtesy Monastery Icons




I have ten fingers on which to pray

The Jesus Prayer

And so I need no knotted rope

No chotki to submit my prayers

To God


But if I should consume one hand

In the fires of the world

There would be five times five

More prayers to Christ

But if


Both hands were severed, lost

My breath

Would consummate

My praying death

Or when the breath of me would cease


Then all the rhythms of the stars

Would still speak out

The name of Jesus, count

With eyes of flame His everlasting mercy


Lord Jesus Christ

Son of God

Have mercy on me

A poor sinner




(April 23 is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare in 1616.)



Geoffrey Tristram (b. 1954), “William Shakespeare”




(With thanks to Anthony Powell)


Shakespeare’s last words:

“I worry too much”


What were the first

When he found no death?


“I worried too much”

As he climbed the steps


Above him Mount Paradise

Glinting with mystery


A mountain from which

She looked down from a balcony


“He comes, my beloved,” said the mystery

“It is my life, my soul,” said he


They joined one another in a warm embrace

The spirit of Shakespeare in that place




The Fiery Furnace, in the Catacombs of Priscilla, late 3rd–early 4th century A.D.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons




I saw a burning brilliant flame

That passed from east to westits name

Was Truth the feared and Truth the pure

That saints can gaze at and endure


It was the flame that Daniel

Passed through—all martyrs know it well—

Three young Hebrews walking through

The Persian flames such testing knew


Beneath the blooming redbud tree

A flame is burning steadily   

But low as it has burned before

A spirit burning at the core


A flame whose fire is a color

The flame of life—there is no other






The Tomb itself was filled with light

Beyond, a darkness spread like mist

To blind and baffle atheists


Through ignorance such darkness spread

As to obscure the light within

A rising of the buried dead


The Temple turned into a hovel

Inner sanctum seized by demons

To which the sightless Levites groveled


But light spread forth as if of day

Exceeding any day before

Illuminating souls of clay


It is the light of heaven’s Son

Death exposed as emptiness

Like Noah’s flood the shadows run






Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900), “Descent of Noah from Ararat”

National Gallery of Armenia, Erevan

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





First, they trap the cemetery woodchucks

Then they drown them in an iron barrel

Because the rodents hollow out long tunnels


Woodchucks are detested by the workers

Who have to cut the flourishing spring grasses

Burrows cause the capsize of the mowers


Just as God destroyed a generation

Which He regretted having brought to life

By drowning it in forty days of ocean


A barrel for the ground hogs, an ocean for the people

The method is the same although the scale may be unequal






This is the rain the psalmists pray for

Rain of spring before the summer

Dries the flatland of Sharon

When fructifying rains are done


Through this rain the Christ ascends

From Galilee to meet his friends,

Mist and wind come from the west

To break upon the ridgeline crest


It was through this fine rain He climbed

May there be no other kind

When winter breaks, the same as here

In my own country, year by year


Sky the same, the sun and such

But wounds there were for one to touch




Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1573–1610), “Supper at Emmaus”

Pinacoteca di Brera

Courtesy Wikipedia Commons




On a cold spring morning

Christ rose

Though a cold wind combed the myrtle and the palm


The north still reigns

And the white weather of the near frost

Covers the garden of Gethsemane


The world does not welcome

Its own salvation

The wounds of Christ still bleed


Do not touch

For though He has ascended to the Father

Red footprints cross the garden paths


Who will recognize the risen Christ

As he walks the road to low Emmaus

In the late sunset shadows?


Let Him break new bread and utter blessings

Lift the cup and say:

Blessed is He who sanctifies the vine



The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified April 23, 2017/
Poems copyright 1994-2017, Pavel Chichikov/  
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