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.




Queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory

Courtesy Raritan Canal Photos


Hear Pavel read  "Some Wise Woman."





Some wise woman some called witch

Stitched and stitched and stitched and stitched

Chicory and pink vervain

Saint John’s Wort again again

Yarrow, thistle, Queen Ann’s lace

She sewed them in with threads of grace

She held the stitching on her knees

Butter and eggs, a few heart’s ease,

But mostly made this tapestry

Of Queen Ann’s lace and chicory


Overhead the weather sailed

Of mackerel and white mare’s tail,

Chicory the azure blue

Beneath the azure zenith grew,

Queen Ann’s lace the ivory white

Rhymed the clouds that raced the night

And when she’d finished all for God

She added growing goldenrod

And wasn’t she a clever one

To add a mushroom when she’d done?







We enter the penumbra

Of secular apocalypse,

Not Earthbound but across the sky

The shadow slides


We signal to that form

Noiseless, of a magnitude

In scale much greater than ourselves

Drifting overhead


Nothing near, we may not gauge

How vast it is, how great,

How suddenly it moves, how slow.

What hour may be late


But as it fills the sky entire

Night will not be far,

For then it will occlude the light

Star by star by star





Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937), “Lion Drinking”

Courtesy Walters Art Museum, Baltimore





I will provide a desert cloister

Where the beasts of Eden played,

A wounded lion for your mentor

Guards your solitary day


No human being will go with you

To afford you company,

Near you nothing fertile growing

But the good and evil tree


Carve it with your memoranda

Since there is no other wood,

Only those who can remember

Paradise have understood


That growing up the tree of good

The vine of evil spread and wound,

And that where Paradise had grown

There was no life for miles around







At the end of saga Njal

A mighty battle to commence

A rain of blood descending from the sky


On a loom three women weave

A warp and weft of human guts

The weights of it are human skulls


From this saga vision comes

Foretelling of the present year

A dream of blood escaping from a dream


An aircraft overhead destroyed

A rising rocket on its plume

The blood of victims raining from the sky


A shower of their precious blood

On the yellow wheat fields of Ukraine

And a hail of human flesh


What did the saga women weave

On the working loom of our destruction?

They wove the wayward human will


Did they crisscross what may be

With weft of our composed intent,

Was that the future’s tapestry?


This is how the poets think:

It is no future they foretell,

The present is much longer than we know




MH17; photo by Maxim Zmeyev, Reuters




Viking helmet





For death they have in life prepared,

Nobles of the chambered tomb,

How heavy are the robes they wear


Each shining profit they amassed

Becomes a jewel embroidered on

The golden cloth of what had passed


Cold they stand and barely shift

Their heavy feet outside their cells

They may not move but only drift


How ponderous the wealth they carry

Crust beneath another crust

Crown and garment thick and heavy


The more they had the more they wear

To armor them inside the barrow

Silent in the frigid air


But if they see the sparks go by

Of souls that rise to Paradise

They say: disrobe us, let us die


And if they see a living soul

Walk through the barrow to the end

They move to touch that burning coal








      Walter Williams, "Poultry Market," 1953
      Courtesy ArtInfo




When grandma went to buy a chicken

She took me to the market with her,

There were all the chickens clucking

Scratching, bobbing silly heads


She indicated one and so

The man who held the iron chopper

Grasped a chicken by the neck

Suddenly a violent squawk


A whacking chopped the head away

It startled me and off it ran,

A geyser spurting from its neck

Running fast and then went down


That which pecked and bobbed its head

That which scraped and jerked about

That which showed a shining eye

Was empty now and flaccid, drooped


Maybe four and maybe five

Too young I was to comprehend

But still somehow I understood

How mighty is the hand of death


That takes away the inner life

Leaves the shell without itself,

Then who shall say and who shall know

Where it may go, inhabit where?


For should humanity be lost

This is what the race shall be—

The neck, the chopper and the head

Unholy be that trinity






The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified July 27, 2014/
Poems copyright 1994-2014 Pavel Chichikov/  

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