The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov

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NEW! See Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. Recently added: Flag Day 2017, showing the retirement of the old colors.

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 Amazon.com, in print and on Kindle, and at Barnes & Noble. The cover art is "The Little Festive House," by Lisa Lorenz. 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 homagetogoya.com.

Sylvia Dorham's moving The Book of Names is available at Amazon.com. 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 (fishhook@atlanticbb.net) 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.


  

 

 


 

Sanctuary Light

Photo by Pavel Chichikov

 

 

THE SANCTUARY LIGHT

 

Darkness filled the church and in the street

Light began to weaken but for one

Sanctuary candle in its glass

That stayed until it was a meager sun

 

All the rest a dark as dense as lead—

There might be shape or nothing in that shade—

The passing of the over-shadowed dead

Or vileness of which demons are afraid

 

It was the only light, the tabernacle

Gleamed by weakest flickering reflection   

The faintness of the vulnerable candle

A barely luminous enduring tension

 

But would not die, it would not yet go out

Despite the stifling heaviness of doubt

  

 

 

 

White Cane

Courtesy IB Milwaukee

 

 

BLIND STICK

 

But not yet blind he purchases his sight

With tunnel vision ending in a light,

But all recedes to form a hollow shell

Of narrow vision, resonance and smell

 

A stick before him touches what he feels,

And as he goes the shadow world congeals

Into a solid substance and a sense

Of what is now and then a future tense

 

Then he leads the others as he goes,

Seeing more by giving what he knows

That love has formed a light around his eyes

So that each step he takes is a surprise

 

He is the one who tells what is ahead

A sphere of love, by light inhabited

  

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Storm Clouds; photo by Connor Mulvaney

Courtesy Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

 

THE RIDER

 

Down comes autumn rain, a month too soon

October straddles August like a rider

Gallops towards the paddock of September

 

A wild ride, the sun has lit the upland hills

The rain has stopped to cool and breathe the mist

The rider wraps a raincloud round his wrist

 

But somewhere there’s a rumble in the ground

The horse is calm, the rider grasps the mane

It canters off, the hills begin to rain

 

 

 

TWO DEMONS

 

Two boys in demon form came to my house

One was very tall and had no space

For his intestines in his narrow trunk

Or flesh to fill his long and bony face

 

The other small and narrow wore a smirk   

That spread from ear to ear and even farther

So that it might be called a single mouth,

One end of it almost touched the other

 

Crass in speech and coarse in their address

Obscenity and arrogance their talk,

Infrahuman yet were humanoids

Their necks so long they might be labeled stalks

 

Response by rage was something like a draft

Into the League of Hell by no intention,

The method, to provoke into a rage

By insolence and demon condescension

 

I touched the Cross, the holy feet of Christ

Who once beleaguered Hell by sacrifice

    

 

 



 

Dirck van Baburen (c. 1594/95–1624), “The Capture of Christ”

Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell'Arte Roberto Longhi, Florence

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

 

WAR IN MY SOUL

 

There is encamped inside myself

An army here, and army there

To carry on their own warfare

 

A lone brigade within my soul

Responding to a provocation

Armed and posted to its station

 

Christ whose stillness should command

The peaceful meadow of the heart

Has conquered but a single part

 

The other mad with noise and rage

An armed advancement demon-led

A fiendish task force of the dead

 

But sometimes they approach the lines

And call across them to enroll

The rage I harbor in my soul

 

It wants to join the other side

Then I live in no man’s land

Know not who is in command

 

So I pray that Jesus will

Command me to return but He

Allows the choice of arms to me

 

For in His army there are no

Conscripts, none of them may kill   

Who serve His grace by their free will


 

 

 

     

 

Joseph Michael Gandy (1771-1843), “Bank of England Rotunda in Ruins”

Courtesy The Sir John Soanes Museum, London


 

 

CITY IN RUIN

 

If a city, he would lie in ruin

Streets a rubble that were once of heaven

 

Walls lean out of plumb, the reservoirs

Dry, the rooms are open to the stars   

 

Open to the desiccating sky

Day by day the sunlight bakes it dry

 

Rats and other vermin running free

All the other living creatures flee

 

One who sits in silence to atone

A hermit in the wreckage all alone

 

Jerusalem is I, and I am it

And here in my own overthrow I sit

 

Who can build again the golden place?

Jerusalem my home—you are my face

  

 

 

(August 22 is the Feast of the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth.)

 


 

Steven Lochner (c, 1400/10–51), “Madonna of the Rose Bower”

Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

Courtesy Yorck Project and Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE

 

Who will go meet Our Lady?

They will be the friends of grace,

With flowers and with psalmody

They come to meet her face to face

 

I saw one in the faithful throng

A light of wonder in his hand,

To loving Mary he belongs,

He finds her in a holy land

 

To the left and to the right

They come together as they praise

The blessed mother of the Light

Who on the heights of heaven stays

 

One I love made pilgrimage

To meet the Lady and her Son,

I see him in another age

In heavenly Jerusalem

 


The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified August 20, 2017/
Poems copyright 1994-2017, Pavel Chichikov/  
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