The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! Check out Pavel's new photos at Pavel's Camera. We update the page almost every day. See 

Near Us for trout fishers.

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.





Eastern Painted Turtle

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





It hauls itself to a slant of wood

Extends, presents the neck’s extension

To the gentle warming April sun


Wordless is the prayer to Christ

Who is the warmth and light of day

Who is the Word that creatures pray


Out of the lake they come to be

All that lives belongs to Him

And this that wakes to bask and swim






Here’s your birthday present, said my father

Dying forty years ago no hindrance

Handing me a box, black box, an oblong

Tapered towards the ends, like stiffened leather


Tougher than I can remember, competent

Hard faced, moving towards some iron tackle

Arranging it along a deck or floor

A coastwise freighter’s deck made of cement


When I looked inside the box there were

Sweets that I am fond of, always have been

Chocolate brownie on the top, but then

Other treats he knows I like, prefer


Swiftly strongly then he moved away

Businesslike, he had more things to do,

No explanation why he had remembered

Or why there was no more for him to say


I think the dead are busy with affairs

To make up for a deficit on Earth,

For them in death there is a second birth,

Remember that in saying of your prayers






Here’s your post in Hell—

These small aborted bodies which you burned

To heat your buildings

Be certain that they’re turned


Make sure the fire touches all the sides,

Burns the hollowed cradle of the brain,   

Keep burning, use the poker in your hand

Be certain not a single face remains


Do not let the fire be extinguished

Even if the winds of hell should blow—

If you let the fire die

Into the flames you summon you will go


This is Hell

We use the heat





Crabapple Blossoms and Bee

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





The bee stands in air at the waiting blossom,

All shall be well at the crabapple tree

The time that has stopped is the time of heaven





I watched him stuffing sacks with grain

Behind a fence the pigs would watch   

Till not a kernel would remain


Across the road his brother built

A very modern piggery

Starting up from barrows, gilts


He’ll lose his shirt, he said to me

Indicating with a shovel

The gilt and barrow factory


Down the road he had a field

The government had confiscated

For a missile silo, sealed


Around the silo there was corn

He planted there to be a sign

That out of death life can be born


Then along the interstate

I drove to Kansas and beyond

Leaving bacon to its fate






Photo by Pavel Chichikov





The Holy Spirit has accusers

Devils of the day and tempters,

Prosecutors turned to stone,

Each immobile, each alone


An angel came to bring petition

Asking Mary for submission:

Be the bearer of the Son

A sufferance the Dove has won


Take my answer to the plea,

I bow to what He wants of me,

Reach as high as You may go

I am His handmaid here below


Every creature is a sign

That bears the seal of the divine

And even of the sacrifice

Of Joseph, Mary for the Christ





Black Crappie---Throw It Back

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





A dark flotilla, almost dead

Moves upstream along the Creek

In rank and file that hardly stirs,

Sunfish, crappie, dwarfed and weak


A funeral procession nearly

Motionless and yet proceeds

But may turn sideways, show a flank,

A silver side among the weeds


He casts his line and then draws up

The limp unwanted, throws it in,

The water has been stocked with trout,

But not a single rosy fin


Imagine then that Jesus lets

His silver line of life drift by

To catch a soul or two for grace,

Perhaps the souls are you and I


The Christ looks down to see the catch

That wriggles weakly then goes slack,

“A poor one though I stocked the world

With spirits” Does He throw it back?


The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified April 24, 2016/
Poems copyright 1994-2016 Pavel Chichikov/  

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