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 images from the Collins Foundation "Wings of Freedom" exhibit of World War II planes at the Altoona Airport.

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.




Bee on Chaste-Tree 

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





I see now that your wings are brazen

Held up in a curving V

That light reflected through the membrane

Turns to bronze your belly too


All honor, homage to your Maker

Artificer, Lord Creator







Italian Greyhound Service Dog

Courtesy Ingrum, Small Dog Big Job





He served in Iraq

Now at the mall, he leads a service animal

An Italian greyhound with legs

No thicker than household telephone wire


He keeps it for emotional support

Speaks in a low unsteady voice

Offers his soft-eyed companion

To the caresses of small children


Why do I think now

Of the third battalion, 26th Marines

Ambushed near Con Thien

By the North Vietnamese Army?


The NVA whose tactic was

To move through their own mortar fire

Killing their own if necessary

Killing US Marines


Liken the utmost ferocity

With the utmost tenderness—

How have we come to this

We children of the earth?


I do not understand us

Nor understand myself

Nor who or what we are

Saved by the torture and pity of God





Slap on the Hand

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





Many times around

She claps her father’s hand,

Returns and seals the circuit

As sharply as she can


Tireless lets go

Until she passes by,

Explores the empty passage

That often we deny


Claps the hand of witness—

They say we die alone—

Denies the force of darkness

The fear of the unknown


Dares and reassures,

A game we always play,

Until the game has ended

On the final day






          Uncle John’s House

          Photo by Pavel Chichikov





In these foothills long ago

There was a publican named John

His memory not fully gone


Same the sun of August past

Light that streams across the hills

We die, these last


But there are other summer hills

A light more lasting than the sun

And these a destiny fulfills


That every curve and light and blade

Must be preserved in memory

But not the one that we have made


That all the rooms where we have lived

Inhabited will always be

In sanctifying memory


That from the fountain there will fall

The streaming ever-flowing water

That house and fountain be forever


That in the house there lived a love

And love will never be subdued

Or subject to a solitude






Along a country road at night

Drugs in bloodstream driving her

Mail drops numbered four she clipped

And shaved as short as with a scythe


The State Police arrested her

Booked her at the county jail,

Prescriptions stolen in her bag,

Substances she should not have


Her license they will take away

Little public transport here

Will leave her cast away, marooned

A slave of drugs she buys herself


Trapped in her dependency

In self-inflicted slavery

What master need impose on her?

She is her own strong conqueror


Against what can this wretch rebel?

Control implanted in her cells?

Dictatorship inside the heart

Unless she tears herself apart


And still may not detach the worm

That grinds with teeth so keen and firm

Small children weep and helpless see

Their mother her self-enemy





First a goldfinch nearly weightless bends and drinks

Dips and takes a droplet from a standing pool,

Then the basso rumbling of a summer storm—

Concussions in the atmosphere, a living jewel


One would think causality had naught to show,

Never could these actions ever be transferred

Between two unlike instrumental episodes,

The passage of a lightning bolt, a bending bird


These very rhymes are indications that reveal

The canopy of God and His continuum,

The overarching tabernacle of the real,

The past, the present and the future Kingdom Come


Thunder is a formal poem made to rhyme,

The tiny heart that beats the murmuring of time





Fra Angelico (1395–1455), “Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven” (probable attribution)

From altarpiece for the Friary of San Dominico, Fiesole

Courtesy National Gallery, London





God gives not the art of reading minds

For if we knew each other’s thoughts so well

We would know the griefs of angels when they fell


But in the afterworld of spirits saved

And in the worlds of light which have not fallen

And before the fall of any Eden


All shall know all other spirits’ thoughts

One mind to the other in that heaven not be closed

Praises of the Glory be their shining clothes


In radiance of Glory do they go as dressed

Dressed as is the Lord in robes of precious flame

Light His raiment shining, Love His blessed name


Then they share the joy of knowing Him

Echoing to one another all their harmony

Clear as any bell that sounds, no mystery


When you kneel before the sacred Flesh and Blood

Share within your thoughts His Presence with their hearts

The living and beloved dead, that all may have their part



The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified August 21, 2016/
Poems copyright 1994-2016 Pavel Chichikov/  
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