The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


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.

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. 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.





Monarch Butterfly

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





Can’t be hurried, has no aim,

Of royal line but has no name

Has a calling all the same


Stops at leisure place to place

This scion of a royal race

No brow or nose but has a face


Of a purpose unaware

Has no courage but can dare

A fate for which it can prepare


Needs no faith but it can trust

Appetites but has no lust

Iron veins but cannot rust


A monarch butterfly, may we

Be so in God’s eternity





Fern Wall

Courtesy Pete Brown’s 10





In the twentieth century they had ways

Of killing great numbers all at once

Stalin’s gulag and the Nazi camp

The bones in the oven, the human lamp


They also invented a dark surprise

Weapons to kill us all at once

Instead of an oven to burn a million

The power to burn us by the billion


Not far from here is an old stone wall

Sprays of ferns grow out of the cracks

Ferns are the will of God and grow

In the joins of the stone, but they come slow


Green and fragile and like a spray

Alive while the dark stones melt away





Black-Capped Chickadee

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





I sing for you, said thunder

My vocal cords are long

From earth to cloud to stratosphere

A resonating song


It shakes the heavy sand and stone

Rattles in the trees

Rings the inner blood and bone

And drops you to your knees


I sing too said chickadee

My whistle-pipe is short

It’s hard to hear the note of me

The pitch a silver sort


But when the salvo stops a bit

I am the only sound

Patiently I wait and sit

Till silence is profound


Then you’ll hear my canticle

Come closer and be near

In me is nothing horrible

But melody most clear








Photo by Pavel Chichikov





The little dogs so shy and wary

Came to meet us and were friendly—

Sometimes creatures smell and sense

A change in our innate defense


That makes it safe for them to let

We stranger-giants stroke and pet—

They felt the changes suffered through,

Before we thought them these dogs knew


One of us has suffered change

A violent trauma grim and strange—

The speechless ones detect what we

Say not—the wordless ones can see


Shallower these human tags

That we call words than twists and wags




(September 29 is the Feast of The Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.)




Fillippino Lippi (1457–1504), “Three Angels with Young Tobias”

Galleria Sabauda, Turin

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons






Six white feathers fell beside us

Birds’ and angels’ drifting down,

Light as snowfall humilis

Delicate as whispered sound


One a swan above us risen,

Vanished in concealing cloud,

One an singer of decision

Gabriel but not aloud


One an imitating angel

Mockingbird above the door,

One a messenger of peril

Michael of the world at war


One a robin of desire

Orchestra of all delight,

One immeasurably higher

Raphael the cure of sight


Featherfalls of messengers,

Six white feathers and their names,

Each a King’s ambassador

Lighting down the feathers came







St. Michael’s in the Mist

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





Out of the valley, the deep valley

Mists of summer morning flow

And from the mist Saint Michael rises,

Mist that covers swales like snow


His arm is held around the world

Which does not know of his protection,

Though the world emerges then

It does not know of its infection


I saw the flowing of the mist

A church as if from mist just born,

The vessel of the Eucharist,

A steeple rising like a thorn






Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400–1464), “The Blessed Virgin,” detail from the Beaune Altarpiece

Hospices de Beaune, France

Photo by Pavel Chichikov




The altarpiece of Beaune by Rogier van der Weyden,

Painted consolation of the suffering plague ridden   

Depicts the Lord’s last judgment of the living and the dead,

The dying could observe the panels from their hospice beds


Standing in the foreground is Saint Michael with a scale—

The balance of the Christ with which Christ Jesus will prevail—

The martyrs and the holy saints revering Christ enthroned

Not looking at the judged at all, most gaze at Christ alone


Notice on the right side of triumphant living Christ

Devoted Virgin Mary, only Jesus in her sight,

Nor is she distracted by the fate of those who go

Into their bitter exile in the prison cells below


Nor does the Virgin contemplate the blessed ones who rise   

By Jesus’ grace and clemency, in her is no surprise,

It is the Light from Light we love and from the Light we draw

The strength of Christ’s immortal love and this the dying saw


The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified September 24, 2017/
Poems copyright 1994-2017, Pavel Chichikov/  
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