The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

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NEWS! 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 has released a description of its Pavel Chichikov Poetry Collection of printed, digital, and recorded materials.

Pavel's A House Rejoicing is available at Amazon.com, 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 nlevine@erols.com. 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 homagetogoya.com, 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 Amazon.com. 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 (fishhook@atlanticbb.net) and must be credited to Pavel Chichikov. No alterations in the text may be made. All copyright restrictions apply.


 

 

 

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), “Modern Rome—Campo Vaccino”

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 

FACING WEST

 

This is where we live for now

In the foothills of the mountains

And where I will be buried when

The time will come, sooner, later

 

Contemplate another death

Of cities and societies,

And when that may be no one knows,

The time will come, sooner, later

 

Look out from a nearby hill,

Across the valley you will see

A cemetery and a cross

And that is where they’ll bury me

 

From what high hill from which to glimpse

The ending of the present state?

Ancient Rome had seven hills

From which could prophets see its fate?

 

Facing west the Palatine

Where rose the palaces of Rome,

Magnificent the polished marble

Red with the reflected sun

             

 

 

  

 

Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), “The Anger of Achilles” (Sacrifice of Iphigenia)

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 

NOT KNOWING

 

The noble Agamemnon had a stiffness in the shoulder

On the left side where he carried into battle

His heavy multi-layered shield against brave Hector

 

So many wounds, so many wars and strongly built

That warrior, that king, that sovereign of Mycenae—

What power could destroy him but his guilt?

 

Agamemnon, did you bathe to soothe your aching spine

And did your back take ill, not getting any younger,

That braced a heavy shield against the Trojan line

 

And in that steaming pool in Mycenae

Clytemnestra came with oil and dripping sponge

A net, a knife, a murder, eye for eye

 

You sacrificed her daughter for a lucky breeze—

The Queen knew how to take revenge on you

Who thought that kings at war do as they please

 

Listen then, the Greeks knew that the heavy world is such

That one weight over-balances another weight

Until the equilibrium comes back, and often by a touch

 

They said it was the will of Zeus, or fate

Or that immortal goddess Dikē, justice

Who brought the universe itself against the state

 

For petty gain or grand advantage as we thought

Which daughter or which daughters have we sold

Not knowing that instead it is re-balance that we bought?

 

          

 

IT WOULD START

 

Because she wears a summer dress

You see the scar that was a wound

Which opened up her chest, exposed

The heart within that time can mend

 

But there are other scars which heal

More slowly if they heal at all

Or never heal but still inflame

Forgotten since but yet appall

 

Appall in ways we can but know

In moments of lucidity

When gazing at the shadowed face

Of swiftly slipping memory

 

Wounds that would be wounds of love

Affirmed and yet as if the heart

Were shocked somehow and paralyzed

And yet so clutched that it would start

   

 

 

 

 

Eduourd Léon Edy-Legrand (1892–1970), “Jesus Healing the Blind Man”

Courtesy Bible Odyssey

 

 

ONE BY ONE

 

Mud and spittle on the eyes,

What village shaman may this be?

What is the explanation for

A village blind man who can see?

 

Perhaps he wasn’t blind before

Or some placebo was applied,

Strong suggestion or a fraud,

Perhaps he saw before and lied

 

But granted that the Son of God

Compelled the rare exceptional,

Why use secretions of the Earth

To work the inexplicable?

 

Because He made them, light from Light,

Because without Him there is none,

That all may see that miracle

He gives them vision, one by one

  

 

 


 

 Midas and His Barber

Courtesy Mark Deetz

 

 

NOT A WORD

 

Midas, you have ass’s ears for meddling in those things

You had no business meddling with, the strum of lyre strings

When fingered by Apollo, which sounded poorer than

At least to you, poor meddler, the breathy pipes of Pan

 

If that’s the way you hear it, the god Apollo said,

I’ll give such a pair of ears you’ll wish that you were dead,

A donkey’s ear for music gets you auricles that size,

A hee haw for a tenor voice with which to harmonize

 

Now Midas had a barber who used to cut his hair

But when he cut the royal locks the hair dresser declared

Such lovely ears you’ve grown, my lord, perhaps I shouldn’t trim

The hair around your ears so much, the barber said to him

 

Midas whispered: Leave it long and also keep it quiet

About these longish ears of mine or else they’ll cause a riot,

These ears are not for public eyes, a turban made of wool

Covers every inch of them, they are invisible   

 

Not a peep, King Midas said, so keep your flappers shut,

No ifs or ands or maybe sos, no gossipings or buts,

But if I ever hear the word you let my secret out

You’ll either get the chop from me or else go up the spout

 

The barber swore it up and down, he swore it side to side

That never would he breathe a word about King Midas’ pride,

Those ears that stuck a yard above the royal cranium,

He said he would forever be the royal barber dumb

 

But after many barberings the secret like a mole

Tunneled deeply into him and tormented his soul

Until he could no longer keep the mystery suppressed

Of why the royal turban—there was gossip—no one guessed

 

He rushed out to the suburbs and found himself a fen

And with a violent movement he lay down at length and then

He thrust his head beneath the water, shouted through the bubble:

The king has ears compared to which most others are like stubble

 

The king has ears a meter long, and that’s the truth of it

The frogs and fish will know the truth or else I’ll lose my wits;

He thought the secret safely drowned but travelers can hear

The wind blow through the cattails: The king has donkey’s ears   

         

 

 

 

 

Philip Straub, “Rivendell”

Courtesy Philip Straub

 


RIVENDELL

 

In Tolkien’s legendarium a refuge from disaster,

While those who bow and kneel before the tabernacle

Enclosed inside the glory of the saving Christ

Stay safe within the stronghold of eternity

 

Rivendell was built among forbidding mountains,

A settlement of peace, a lampstand of the precipices

With fountains of serenity from springs well-guarded,

Invisible to ghouls that roam the outer wasteland

 

But we should not stay over-long in Rivendell

Because the contest of the worlds goes on,

Pilgrims take their places in the slaughter line,

Grip swords of patience, others heal their wounds with prayer

 

We look behind us longingly and yet

By choice endure the vengeance of dominion—

Rivendell the tranquil perches in a cleft

So narrow that the daylight there is all too brief

  

 

The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified August 2, 2015/
Poems copyright 1994-2015 Pavel Chichikov/  
URL: http://pavelspoetry.com

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