The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! Check out Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. We update the page almost every day. New this week are caterpillars in Small Worlds.

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. 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. 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.





Frank Walsh, “Deep Sea Creatures”

Courtesy Frank Walsh Originals





Down the dense and secret sea

Three hundred fathoms cold and free

Twilit blue the world below

Where heavy patient currents flow


Beneath the strident crested sprays

There are no nights or clashing days

Colors, noises all subdued

Where live the sea’s complacent brood


Gray and silver luminescence

Gill and eyes the stars and crescents

Refuge taken from fatigues

At depths of twenty thousand leagues


A blunder was it to emerge

By scraping fin from water’s verge—

Suppose that someday will be bred

A spawn of human fish instead


Eyes adjusted to the dim

And endless place through which they swim

They revel in the safety of

Their secret from the world above


Take a planet for their ranges

In a world that never changes

Hidden from the flimsy night

An emptiness with points of light


But even there in canyons deep

Where eels and starfish fall asleep

There will be some who restless swim

In search of God to question Him






Although the church is just around the corner

Convenient even for a slug-a-bed

There is no money payment for convenience

An exercise in charity instead


Druggies live across the street and quarrel

Unruly as a gathering of crows

Opioids and cheap beer by the barrel

Stoned in public, everybody knows


I can wish them evil, wish them well

Perhaps an urge will strike them to improve

Often I could wish them hot in Hell

At other times I only wish they’d move


Often people call for the police

These sheep of God have grown a filthy fleece

But someone has to pray for them, so I

Walk around the corner, and I try






A hand on his holster he told the man

With the baseball bat clutched in his hand

Drop the ball bat—later said

He would have shot the batsman dead


On the street good order lacked

A man demanding his daughter back

They told her run and she ran to the door—

In a house of drugs perpetual war—

Four policemen from that region

Calmed these demons and their legions


Then next morning I saw this—

The addict gave her child a kiss

Its fingers moved around her face

Exploring it, an infant’s grace—

Love springs up from ruined earth

As if the dead could still give birth





Photo by Pavel Chichikov





This is no actor stopping on the street

The injured man is not someone he knew,

Nor will they ever come again to meet

His kindness will be known by none or few


The other’s not a traveler to Zion

Ambushed on a journey through a desert

But someone taken by a drug reaction

Victim of self-destroying habit


This isn’t sentimental sympathy

A parable enacted for effect

But something in the spirit ordinary

Where coldness and compassion intersect


See him look intently to assess

The need to serve, not merely to impress






Cecil Arthur Hunt (1873–1965), “Earthquake Damage, Messina”

Courtesy Chris Beetles Gallery





Will you sense the vibrations of ruin

In the soles of your feet, in the frames

Which sway on their wired suspensions?


In a vivid description a woman

Who served in an embassy building

Told of a soundless vibration


That rippled through building and bodies

Then followed a roaring collapse

Decomposing to piles of debris


She found herself lying outside

With a block of concrete pressed above her

The bones in her body all fractured


The world is a target like that

A building that spins on a pivot

While it soundlessly glides in its orbit





Gustave Doré (1832–83), “Celestial Rose,” from Dante, Paradiso
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





Once I saw the splendid light of God

Fos oikon aprositon

What living soul approaches Him within?


Round Him circle spirits of the blessed

Thrice blessing Him with praises of His glory

Holy, holy and forever holy


His works are ever past comparison

Glorious in harmony of light

The answer to the great eleison   


One of light and glory, light in Three

Father, Son and Spirit ever holy

Perfect in delightful unity


But clouds above the Earth have cast their shadows

We are the darkness moving on the waves

The haziness of morning on the meadows





Mass at St. Benedict’s Church, Baltimore

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





The Host is consecrated, think of this:

We are initiated and rehearsed

In adoration, gazing and in pleasure

Eternal, never-ceasing, without measure


To see how God has woven every sight

Wholeness in creation into light

Fills the splendid court of love with goodness

Shows a revelation of His gladness


Returns us to the kneeling and the altar

Where revelations of His goodness falter

Because we are too fragile to retain

The wonder that the love of God sustains


All pleasures are as nothing as they pass

Equated to the everlasting Mass



The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified September 25, 2016/
Poems copyright 1994-2016 Pavel Chichikov/  
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