The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

Pavel's new collection of poems, A House Rejoicing, is now 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.

Pavel's book From Here to Babylon is available in print and on Kindle.

Lion Sun: Poems by Pavel Chichikov, published by Grey Owl Press, is available at Amazon, or write to Read the review of Lion Sun on Scribble on the Net, an electronic journal of New Zealand and international poetry.  

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 And a selection of his photos can be seen at Catholic Images by Pavel Chichikov.

Sylvia Dorham's moving The Book of  Names is available at See Pavel's review on the book page!

Enjoy artist Timothy Jones's blog page, which features his painting "Fallen Oak."  

Guest 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.




Fall foliage in West Virginia; photo by ForestWander


Hear Pavel read  "These Eternal."




This very morning I have seen

The dying leaves proclaiming life,

Coral, russet, gold and green


All at once before the frosts

Hills below a swollen sky

Interweaving life and loss


And I may ask how this can be

That I was born to walk and watch

The transformation of the trees


An answer I have understood

Articulated by the wind:

I am the record of these woods


That we are born to see and keep

This memory that never dies

Forever though my flesh may sleep


We are immortal, soul and mind

Our memories forever more

Imperishable past all time


So that what color seems as past

Imprinted is in light and love,

In God’s eternity will last


That for this purpose we were made

To show in heaven what we see

That these eternal never fade








Jenny’s Market

Courtesy Annie Rie Unplugged





Stay warm this winter, we’ll be back in spring

Said the woman at the farmers’ market

Who sold us vegetables, home-baked cakes and dumplings


Beyond her at the bottom of the hill

Lock Mountain showed a needlepoint of leaves

Crimson, ochre, gilding of the maple


But April is six months away and who

Can know what will be happening till then

When that which falls presumably comes new


She says it is for sitting by the fire

Reading books and knitting in a chair,

The pastimes of the weaver and the dyer


But who can know which eyes will open then

To see the light of April rising higher

Such promises on which the world depends


She wished it in a lowered voice and cast

Her glance aside as if we all could stand

Here once again and mind the winter past







In Moscow the militia at the door:

What is this inostranetz doing here?

I had no proper papers to be there


Here as well I have no proper papers

My eyes are not averted and I raise them

To see the deep horizon and beyond


I am the alien, undocumented one

And so I empathize with every alien—

All we foreigners know one another


How many of us are there, who can know?

We are the secret synagogue of awe

The quorum that assembles in the soul


We know that our existence need not be

Nor might there be a world except for this:

Like some of us, an alien was He





Jeffrey Smart (1921–2013), “Waiting for the Train”

Courtesy National Gallery of Australia, Canberra





When going on your journey

You buy your ticket first,

One side is a blessing

The other side a curse


A line goes from the window

Stretching long and curves

Around a distant corner

Where some are never served


The ticket that they sell you

Is crumpled, smudged and scored

With many a notation—

It has been used before


Your name is scribbled on it

And circled with a line

Of mucky midnight cursive,

Perhaps a cryptic sign


Then the train is ready

To take you all aboard,

And where the train may leave you

Is all you can afford





Julian A. Scott (1846–1901), “The Mounted Sentry”

State House Collection, Montpelier, VermonT

Courtesy 19th Century American Paintings





May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

—St. Therese of Lisieux


Always lonely, posted on the frontier,

The country never was well guarded

And the decades lapsed, the garrison grew thinner


Why was I placed here beyond my qualities

Poor in love and poor in any prospect

Not well endowed with any great abilities


Now we are no more of even what we were,

Through shriveled strength and more infirmity

We will grow weaker, older, always fewer


Here at history’s discouraged end

We are so unprepared, so crippled with misgivings

And soon there will be little to defend


The region on whose bulwarks we appeared

Degenerates to ruin as we look

No one left to heal it as the sages feared


All good morals shrivel, power grows

Bends and twists the spirit into evil shapes

The inner clever beast within disclosed


So that to hold the wall here meaningless

We should put down our feeble weapons and disperse

For nothing keeps us but our stubbornness


Where does this willful doggedness come from?

From somewhere in the wilderness beyond the wall

Since only from the unknown can our rescue come







I speak to you from here

So many years ago

This unimagined shore—

My name you do not know


You my distant friend

Infinity has known,

Time will have an end

And you are not alone


For courage we were made,

To travel on the sea,

Do not be afraid

Of deep eternity


I speak to you from where

The Risen has ascended

His glory to declare

Infinity has ended










The uptown bus was driven by a donkey

We could hear it heehaw on the intercom

Call the stops and tell us where we’d come from

Where we were going, individually


It was the beast that Christ rode into town,

Pattered tiny hooves upon the palm leaves—

Seated were the publicans and thieves

And also upright citizens, Smith, Jones and Brown


Mr. Smith, your stop is next, Inferno

And after that for Jones—it’s Purgatory—

It knew each destination, flame or glory,

And where each passenger was meant to go


How such creatures drive that have no grip

Is mystery enough, but how it knew

Our names and destinations—what would you

Make of it? A most mysterious trip






The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified October 19, 2014/
Poems copyright 1994-2014 Pavel Chichikov/  

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