The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! Check out Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. We update the page almost every day. See the new Everett Railroad album.

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.




Hubert and Jan van Eyck, “The Almighty”

From the Ghent Altarpiece, early 15th century, St. Bavo Cathedral

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons




I saw Glory on His throne

Light from light and love from love,

Mystery of death His crown

Might and mercy were His gloves


For if He should stretch out one hand

And touch the soul with punishment,

Such punishment it could not stand

So it would beg for banishment


Yet Glory can be merciful

Beyond all depth and beauty such

The blessed praise with canticles

The mildness of His mercy’s touch


Truth itself is Glory’s face

But this no spirit yet can bear

Until discarding every trace

Of its defense the soul stands there






O Lady, beasts of grief

Assault with claws of guilt

They tear my flesh away

How will I pray?


It’s dancing that I choose

She smiles—she is amused

All will be well, she says

As I can tell


You need not hold your grief

The time of it is brief

It is the prayer of joy

That love enjoys


And as for death and sorrow

It will return tomorrow

But only for a while

Sweet Jesus was a child


And I remember too

His prattle, He was two

And O the sorrow then—

Dance, my funny friend





Mourning Dove and Starling

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





I wish that I could bathe in grace

As I have wished since I was small,

As horses on a prairie pace

As leopards spring, as falcons fall


As mourning doves in water rinse

As mountain sheep on mountains climb,

But I am separated since

From childhood and have lost my rhyme


I am prose, no longer verse

Ungainly with repeated thoughts,

Estrangement from delight grows worse

Is it for this my soul was bought?


I bought you for eternal joy

But you are night and day’s alloy,

I will refine you in My flame

And name you with another name






Photo by Pavel Chichikov





This egg is mine the fallen angel said

I broke the shell, the yolk has been exposed,

Although you think this embryo is dead

The question of its living is not closed


I will draw it out and shape the body,

The soul of it and mind will be my own,

To be my victim-servant will be ready,

The spirit will be mine and mine alone


Spreads the wings and raises up its eyes

To see what lies above it in the sun,

The mutant seems a bird but in disguise,

Male or female being, either one


I will mix the genders, each with each,

Then let the false messiahs preach and preach





Apple Codlings

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





In perfect sunlight codlings spring

Apples swell in embryo

Always apples as they grow


If you pluck the immature

The farmer seeing is displeased

Fruit will come if not diseased


See how faultless is the skin

The shape is pleasing like a bowl

That might contain an infant’s soul


Think of how a baby swells

A codling on an apple tree

Do not touch though you may see


Let the fruit continue, ripen

May it finish and be born

Not from bough and branch be torn







Photo by Pavel Chichikov





Board this ancient train with me

The track is long but so is time,

On either side the woods to see,

Each tie between the rails will rhyme


Some may board a crowded car

Others by themselves will sit,

Some who climb aboard go far

Their tickets such a ride permit


Trees flow past on either side

Meadows, houses, rivers, hills

But never is the roadbed wide,

Rain between the sleepers fills


Dampness rises, vaporous,

Comes toward, who knows what may be there?

No one is anonymous

Each passenger will pay a fare


Onward speeds the engineer

He works the whistle and the steam,

The final station must be near,

You must descend, this is no dream






Francois-Louis-Joseph Watteau (1758–1823), “The Battle of the Pyramids”

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valenciennes

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





The great world war that is to come

Will see great cities overthrown,

Forests spread and fling their vines,

Their buildings will be overgrown


Only massive concrete walls,

Dams that block a river’s flood   

May last much longer but their silt

Will cover them at last with mud


The Pyramids will be the last,

Those useless mountains in the sand

Which are the signs of what has passed,

The power of some king’s command


If they were not desert made

They too would fret and wear to dust,

The wasteland there is sterile-dry,

They will not fall to silt or rust


But slowly lose their granite teeth

As ages by their ages follow,

Proving so that every boast

Of everlasting pride is hollow







Burning Moon

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





By dusk it is discovered

It swells with golden light,   

Then while bearing upward

It sails into the night


But then it is familiar

A fond geometry

In orbit locked together

It shines inhumanly


Although it is a person

More than we can know

With some divine intention

Revealed to those below


No wonder to the ancients

She was a very goddess

With meteoric pendants

And Venus in her bodice



The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified May 29, 2016/
Poems copyright 1994-2016 Pavel Chichikov/  

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