The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! See Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. Check out the hawk on Domestic and Wild.

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.

Please note: Pavel has no connection with CivFanatics and never has had.





Firedudewraith, “The Forgotten Atlantis”

Courtesy Deviant Art





Poem writing is like this:

Courage, dive in, hit or miss

Plunge into the deep abyss


What below may drift or swim?

Smooth or rough or graceful fin

A feathery or leather limb


A mermaid with a golden flank

A great metropolis that sank

The rum that Noah’s sailors drank


A gill, a tentacle, an eye

That swivels as the fish go by

No one in the sea is dry


We are more than what we seem

Declare the denizens of dreams

Here a deeper sunlight streams


Traveling is much like play

Although explorers seldom stay

Visitors ascend to day


But if they stay for long enough

Their gills will grow and they will puff

Their sea cigars and sniff sea snuff






Hoffman television set

Courtesy Phil’s Old Radios





Along the road I saw a shop

That promised wonders if I’d stop

So I went in the shop to see

A wonder—it was one TV

An old and ponderous antique

Unusual but not unique


As I turned away to leave

The owner gripped me by the sleeve

“Let me turn it on” said he

‘It is a marvelous TV”

He turned a switch, I heard a click

And waited for a dreary trick


At first the image seemed to flicker

Randomly but then grew thicker

Showed an image, then another,

A city storms of dust would smother

“I see the image, what’s it mean

This smothered city on the screen?”


“Ancient Sodom” said the man

“From which old Lot the Hebrew ran

Wait, you’ll see some sulphur rain

Soon enough if you remain”

He looked at me expectantly

And wiped the screen of that TV


“It shows the future and the past,

Whichever, as a telecast,

Click it forward with this dial

You’ll see the future for a while,

Click the other there’s the past

For however long it lasts”


I said “The past is tedious,

It shows what has become of us

But that’s what we already know

A temporary useless show,

But what about what is to be

On this astonishing TV?”


He smiled and turned the other switch

So that appeared a future which

Amazed me so I cannot tell

How to describe it half so well

As it deserves so leave it there

The future is not our affair


Except to say that in those scenes

Too far ahead there were machines

I saw and then I did not see

Any of humanity

“Turn it further, turn” I said

With curiosity and dread


He dialed till I saw with disgust

Clouds of fulminating dust

Resembling Sodom in the first

Scene, a city of the cursed

“You’ve turned the switch,” I said displeased,

“Three hundred sixty full degrees”


“Not at all,” the man protested

The set was built and fully tested

In the finest factory

That manufactures history,

Built to last, will never fail”

I stamped my foot and said “No sale”






Compose your requiems and elegies,

It could be years or even centuries

Before New Rome has gone to pieces, yet

Where is the Roman gambler who would bet?


Where are the hordes of tribesmen at the wall

Who usually turn up when cities fall?

They came to visit, now they come to stay,

As Roman as the rest of us, they say


They brought their foreign practices and clothes

Their women dressed from head-top to the toes,

Our symbol was the resolute bald eagle,

Plucked and roasted now it is illegal


Once within much harder to expel

Barbarians and that is why we fell





John Brack (1920–99), “The Bar”

Courtesy The Genealogy of Style





Dinner at the Sunset Club

Where all the old and new elite

For one last time before they pass

To judgement everlasting meet


Pharaohs, kings and emperors

Warlords, billionaires and such

Brag of victories and triumphs

Though these do not vary much


They pull out maps of territories

Gripped and seized in bloody war,

Praise the courage of the soldiers

Dying for them corps by corps


One shows piles of heads so high

They nearly tip and topple over,

Describes his enemies’ despair

When desolation they discover


Pile their gold until the table

Can’t contain it and it spills

Across the floor in golden floods,

In waves above the window sills


Not one listens to the others

They boast of power and deceit,

Destruction of a wealthy city

The sinking of a mighty fleet


Pleasing servants, sycophants

With royal pleasure they recall

And as they swank the windows show

The fading glory of nightfall


The room grows darker and the lights

Are dimmed, the manager appears:

Gentlemen, the club must close

We have run out of days and years


The club has ended, you must leave

The staff needs time to seal up tight—

Gentlemen, the day is done

And soon it will be endless night






“Rain against the Window”: photo by Philip Jones

Courtesy Some PC Guy





Overcast, a sullen rain

More reason for rebellion,

Let the sun come out again

The reasons reach a million


The world is twisted out of shape

A prison is inside

From which no inmate can escape

Since there is no outside


Angry ones are put to sleep

With every sort of trick,

Sent into a trance so deep

Their pockets can be picked


They wish that someone would bestow

A prize they cannot get,

The freedom that they used to know

Or drugs so they forget






Pedro Orrente (1580–1645), “The Crucifixion”

Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art





An unbeliever said to me

Where is Christ, how can I see

The unreal and illusory?


As he spoke I saw beside

Him Christ the King who does not hide

Himself except from hollow pride


The scoffer was the second thief

Crucified, who sought relief

From emptiness in unbelief





Ivan Shishkin (1832–98), “Winter”

State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





Snow is silent as it falls

A house come down with ivory walls

The falling of a forest-full

Becomes a phantom powerful


Snow draw on your ivory cloak

Your medals made of beech and oak

Your cap of cloud, your scarf of sleet

Boots of crystal on your feet


Now at dusk the snow is blue

The tracks of cottontails go through

Skinny toes that scratch their mark

Birds that go to nest at dark


Now the snow in starlight shines

Because the snow refracts, refines

Clouds have cleared, the snow has stopped

Snow was silent as it dropped




The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified January 15, 2017/
Poems copyright 1994-2017, Pavel Chichikov/  
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