The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

NEW! Ave Maria University has released a description of its Pavel Chichikov Poetry Collection of printed, digital, and recorded materials.

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, 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."  

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.





Fitz Henry Lane (1804–65), “Lighthouse at Camden, Maine”

Yale University Art Gallery

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





When old ships cross the harbor and aim their prows to sea

They creak and groan like old men do

In their debility


And when they reach that opening, they roll and pitch and groan

While gleaming ivory crowned the fretted

Waves like royal blue stone


Run beneath the stiffened keels to rush upon their reach

Until they gain another shore

And hammer down a beach


The planet groans and shudders in a passage through the sky

Though silent are the waves of time

That break but never die


And when they gain another land they shatter in their spray

Beneath the high immortal cliffs

To fall and flow away






William Brassey Hole (1846–1917), “Elijah in the Desert of Horeb”

Courtesy All Posters





Hide in a desert, who knows where?

Stones, Elijah, move, beware

They crush the heart and break the breast

The demons enter in, digest

So then instead of beating heart

There is a stone, the demon part


Run, Elijah, take to heel

Or to the demons bend and kneel

Elijah ran until he came

To where he could forget his name

I am God the Lord, it meant

Recall the punishment God sent


But then exhausted he sat down

To wait for death where death is found

In desolation, loneliness

But this is when the Lord will bless

A jug of water, loaf of bread

Which from the Lord revives the dead


Go and seek the highest cave

Where prophets hide whom I will save,

Teach to serve and be of use

Though battered by the world’s abuse

Hear, I speak, My voice is low

Enough to send you where I go


To whom shall I transmit your word

O Lord, my God—Elijah heard

A voice like wind among the stones

As through the crevices it moans

To find the remnant of the folk

Who will remember what God spoke





Alexandre Calame (1810–64), “Fallen Tree”

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





When we heard the fibers creak

We knew the tree had stopped the wind,

Ran without the breath to speak

For when it fell we might be pinned


Tulip poplar, tall and old

Fungus-rotted through and through,

Wind of winter rough and cold,

Desiccated, azure blue


If you hear the fibers crack

Then by reflex start and run,

Time has taken up its slack,

Suddenly your life is done


Unless you run—and this is true

That every power has its fall

When it has rotted through and through,

Though some may see no rot at all






Even in Old Babylon

On one day of the year,

The priest would slap the royal face

And pull the royal ears


The priest would then permit the king

To enter if so pleased

The sanctuary of the god

Although on hands and knees


So even at a pagan shrine

They knew humility

To be the ticket to behold

Such low divinity


Then how much more should we adore

The Christ of brilliant light

With self-effacing gentleness

Adoring and contrite





Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi (183787), “Christ in the Desert”

Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





Imagine falling from beyond,

From all that is and was and will,

Through every law and light and void

From where the work of death is still


From light’s eternal joyfulness

That has no end or side or length

But is itself the measure of

Its own abiding endless strength


How dark and fearful is that place

To which He fell to find and save

A narrow and unholy race—

To Him the globe itself a grave


When He stood the slaves upright

Who gave Him to the cross of Rome

He burst from death’s oppressing night—

But Christ how far He was from home!







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





Each lie that’s told becomes an iron cell

Where those who fabricate forever dwell

Remote from all around them, isolates,

For that which mocks existence segregates

The prisoners of lies, each one from each,

Nor can one inmate to another reach


But as the Lord of truth takes up His throne

No longer will the inmates live alone,

The doors spring open, those who will go free

Will stand amazed and for the first time see

Who lives beside them, face to face, and find

The grace within the other, soul and mind


Understand and love and go their way

But some may be afraid to leave, and stay





Flowering purple plum

Courtesy Mollie Bowman on Pinterest





Some have said all will be saved

And others that not many fall,

The hard of heart proclaim that few

Will ever live in grace at all


But what do people know of Christ

Who walked the hardest street there is

With bloody lashes to his back

And found the mercy to forgive?


Jesus said look out and see

That I have made the garden trade

A dead dogwood for young plum tree,

A consecration I have made


Wait till spring when I rise up

And then I blossom red and white,

Remember Me in flesh and cup

Through every bitter winter night



The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified May 17, 2015/
Poems copyright 1994-2015 Pavel Chichikov/  

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