The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! See Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. Recently added: Flag Day 2017, showing the retirement of the old colors.

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.





Black-Capped Chickadee

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





Chickadee was resting on a perch—

I asked it where it came from: “On a search

Through dusk and Hell to see what I could see

But never found in Hell a living tree


“Wing-failed now I sit here, will not sing,   

I have been ages coasting on the wing

Through twilight never lit by any stars,

Everywhere the hope of day is far


“Yellow grass, the look of it was sere,

End to end blow hurricanes of fear,

Beneath me there were creatures, human ones

Whose fate was everlasting, just begun


“Murderers whose penalty to eat

The ones they killed, entire, head to feet,

Whenever they consumed a body then

Unsated but repelled began again


“Those who murdered children ate the most,

Even more the ones who kill and boast,

There were others…” chirped the little bird—

But horrified I left and no more heard






God put up a feeding station.

A syrup made of holy light

For His joy and delectation,

Separated it from night


All the creatures came to feed,

Birds and beasts of every kind

Each according to its need

But one He gave a gifted mind


Not the sense of right and wrong

This clever creature stayed a beast,

It was neither quick nor strong

But sense and sentience increased


Until the spirit could be tempted

By a fine entitlement,

Lowly ranking was resented

Felt as an impoverishment


The Devil drew a specimen—

Here’s a finer sip of pride,

A nectar and a sovereign

Treatment for the bile inside


When they sipped they saw a shade

Of death come down from every tree,

The sun descended and afraid

They clothed themselves in mystery


Each was covered to the other

Each alone with what they were,

Never more would they discover

The deepest soul of him and her






Cold Front

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





I saw the north wind sliding south

White of cloud and whistle-breath

Though August month had just begun

To tug the coattails of the sun


Can it foretell a winter cold

That wooly mammoths knew of old?

If this is August what December

Sees the red sun as an ember?


I can warm and I can chill

Enough to freeze the winter still

So that it waits ten thousand years

To move so that the hills appear


Beneath my fist of glacial ice—

Bribe me not, I have no price,

Appeal in vain, My will be done,

Farewell I say to summer sun


But who are You who drive the crowds

Of weather-beaten winter clouds?

I am the will that made the light

Above the darkness My delight






“Faust and Homunculus,” 19th century engraving for Goethe’s Faust, Book 2

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





Modern people have great skill

Few babies and their numbers dwindle

Many learn to their regret

That power may no love beget


The wagered profit Satan lost

We will lose it also, Faust

Magician, sage and alchemist

Held the whole world in his fist


Strength is water, won’t be held

Love is summoned not compelled

From the palm of Adam runs

The liquid sunlight of his sons


Self-castrated troops parade

Through the sadness they have made






George Tooker (1920–2011), “Mirror I”

Courtesy Avax News






The world’s most poisonous invention

Polished mirrors and reflection,

We could see what others see

Conveniently and portably


Alien then we became

To see what lies beyond a name,

A stranger less than intimate

Who loves not love but sentiment


This is the gift the devil gave:

Eve most comely, Adam brave,

Self-consciousness, their souls defiled

As compensation for exile


And they could see that they were bare

In glass and bronze, themselves compare





Carlo Saraceni (1579–1620), “The Flood””

Courtesy Theology in Perspective






A sudden summer rain came down -

What then if God’s justice too

Came falling on this world of wounds?


For this the Noah Flood a figure

What cavities of secret deeds

Washed clean, what guilt and terror?


The rain has finished though it fell,

No advent yet of justice, peace,

Cicadas hum, their chorus swells


But if there should be such a rain

What compensation could there be

Assigned, what assets could remain?


Secret mercies, secret loves

That never were requited, paid

For such as these the sentence stayed


Stayed forever or for term?

It is contrition that suspends

Forever, and the court adjourns




(August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.)



Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–82), “The Assumption of the Virgin”

Hermitage Museum. St. Petersburg

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





I saw a little church

Standing on a hill

All around it clear

All around it still


Candles at the altar

Candles at the back

Light the holy pictures

Blessing to attract


Candles ever burning

Holy is the room

Candles never waver

Nothing is consumed


Candles ever burning

Wax becoming flame

Candles never ceasing

Praise the Holy Name


Candles are the faithful

Light of Paradise

Mary was a candle

Burning with the Christ


The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified August 13, 2017/
Poems copyright 1994-2017, Pavel Chichikov/  
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