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.





Soldiers' Momument

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





They planted little flags around the soldiers’ monument

Those sprigs will never grow, no matter how they’re tended

Seed and water otherwise a grove of scarlet maples

So that the falling leaves will be blood red






Pietro Longhi (1702–85), “The Baptism”

Pinacoteca Querini Stampalia, Venice

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





Someone told me this is now 1984

Like some inhuman mind, control

Inventing tools, achieving goals


Yesterday an infant baptized, 2017,

When she is seventy what skill

Of power will her conscience kill?


Will the process be complete in 2087,

Dominion of a future state

Every neural wrinkle penetrate?


If in the not so distant day we have renounced

The freedom of our full humanity

Then to ourselves we will have bent the knee


Attendants on a morbid cult become a mechanism

Be our own consuming idol

Set up in ourselves a Baal eternal


To what demeaning sacrifice submit this infant child?

And yet behold the power of the ritual

A coronation innocent and royal






Vincent Van Gogh (1853–90), “Houses at Auvers”

Toledo Museum of Art

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





See the ruined city of the dead

Where rubble traces every roof and wall

Where all whose hearts were broken there have fled

Where all directions sadden and appall


But see a lovely dwelling in the ruins

Virginal, untouched by any woe,

Window light streams softly on a commons

Illuminating gardens with its glow


Orchards in their blossom and a pasture

Embroidered living cape around their shoulders

Untainted and undamaged by disaster

Green and all the gamut are the colors


The cottage and the meadow free of horror,

I asked one who stood by me as a guide

To clarify the difference in their natures,

Whose cottage was it, who might live inside


“It is not in the ruins but above

Only this escaped what has befallen,

The cottage and the country are called love

And those who live within it dwell in heaven”






Fox Stealing Rooster; Estonian SSR postcard, 1957

Courtesy Etsy





A raiding fox attacked his hens

Thirty-five inside the pen,

He ran out with his Swedish rifle

Up and aimed it at the double


But by then were few alive

Five hens out of thirty-five,

The bullet, hundred-fifty grain,

The fox would not kill hens again


The target close, could not be missed,

An exit large as Henry’s fist,

Not much of the raider left

But small revenge for such grand theft


The brush hung loose in rain and wind

Swaying where it had been pinned,

A trophy of a thwarted thief,

Red but not an autumn leaf


The fox had bitten off their heads

But he became a prize instead

And never got to eat his meal,

So may this come to all who steal


What the balance, fox and hens,

What the value of revenge?

It is a story, we are there

Between the hen house and the lair







“Bodie,” a Belgian Malinois

Courtesy American Kennel Club





He trains rescue dogs, Belgian Malinois

He says of his best dog—he is a work in progress

And of himself he says—I am a work in progress


How then is such honesty so rare in us

Dishonesty, self-admiration common

Not for others but oneself?


The Malinois slides its sleek head

Along my leg in light affection

Then returns to work as sentinel


A good dog tells no happy lies

Nor does it flatter inner estimation

But feels what is inside it to perfection


And when there is a lost child or an elder

Wandering bewildered in a wood

It is not threatening but like an angel


The work in progress has become fulfilled

In work accomplished, training proven

By some lost soul’s return




(June 30 is the Feast of the First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church.)



Jules Eugène Lenepveu, “The Martyrs in the Catacombs”

Musée d’Orsay

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





If death were not a curtained mystery

Then how would Christ have sacrificed on Golgotha

Nor would the holy martyrs have been holy


Nor would the generations of the blessed

Succeed to one another in their ranks,

Confessors of the Faith of Christ confessed?


Nor in the tomb be shadows of our dread

That seep into the daylight and our dreams

Nor hauntings in our legends of the dead


Nor fear consume the living who must flee

The very thought of their annihilation

If death were not a curtained mystery


Nor could the living sacrifice for love

Their own existence and their love of light

What desperate risk, what dreadful forfeit of?


A perfect darkness stretching up to heaven

And deep within the earth unless we die,

Offering the password, Christ is risen


The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified June 25, 2017/
Poems copyright 1994-2017, Pavel Chichikov/  
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