The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! Check out Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. We update the page almost every day. See photos from the 2016 ceremony at the Fallen Police Officers Memorial.

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.




Horse and Rider

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





Horse and rider bent by death

Do it honor, bone and breath,

From their calling have returned

See the cities crushed and burned


Three more riders shall come hence

Famine, War and Pestilence,

If the dawn should spread in peace

By the sunset it shall cease


Red and white and black and pale

Blood and snow and burning hail

Like the sunset fire red,

Death by war and dearth of bread


But see there is another here

Who dismounting shall appear,

Blackened hoof, the rein and bridle

Will not reverence an idol






American Robin (Turdus migratoriius)






I heard the robin singing in the chestnut tree

You think you are unfortunate while I go free,

But there is duty of my own you know not of,

No sign of who was singing till I looked above


Sixty feet above me in the northwest breeze

It sang as if to catch my glance and then to tease:

Solid, heavy in self-pity and remorse

You have not found my lightness, freedom nor their source


I do not question who I am or where I go,

Whether time is speeding by or slackly slow

Or if my work is urgent or a futile joke

Of if my egg is flawless or reveals the yolk


I am whatever I am made when I am hatched

Perfect as the destiny to which I’m matched,

When I sing it is to dominate or call

Another bird to be my mate from spring to fall


But you were made for questioning without reply,

A creature with a pronoun such as you or I,

A face inside a mirror and a mystery

Even to yourself, within you cannot see


Then it launched and spread its outer feathers wide

To catch the wind and effortlessly aim and glide,

A poet of the atmosphere and none the worse

For always singing evermore the self-same verse







She saw a woman slogging down the road   

Cumbered down with many groceries,

She stopped the car and offered her a lift

In contemplation of good charity


The shopper thanked her with a grateful heart,

She drove the woman home but then she waited

Because a light detained her on the road

Where sudden death that afternoon was fated


A truck sped up behind her car, collided,

Killed her on the instant by the impact,

Unmerited and yet somehow decided—

What virtue could her charity have lacked?


Could life be no repayment but a gift

Given for a reason then retaken,

Something like the reason for the lift

And no one who has ever loved forsaken?





Photo by Pavel Chichikov





O my soul escape, prepare

To vanish in what seems like air,

Leave this dusk of days behind,

Another brighter world to find


Leap and you will see the light,

A phoenix caught in burning flight,

The shadows of the night amaze,

Regain the sun by which to praise


The star of tired spirits cold

Dark and overcome and old,

Now my soul prepare to take

Your leap of light, for Jesus’ sake





Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

Photo by  Nancy  Castillo

Courtesy The Zen Birdfeeder





Hide, I saw the cat go by,

Chipmunk hide or you will die,

Risk to rummage in the garden,

No one here can be your warden


I saw the puss across the way

Pounce on one like you and slay

Which hung suspended from its jaw

Limp, that is the hunter’s law


Helpless from the window watch

Those who would prevent the catch,

Then among us too I see

The prowler who our chief will be


One whose jaws can put to flame

Cities, countries I could name,

But simple is the simpleton

Believes a cat, that simple one






Neither one is fit to fill the office,

Under each the unknown bureaucrat

Whose skill is moving paper and instructions,

Sycophantic ego-automat


There will come a day or two of crisis

When no one knows the method to proceed,

Pressure on the major to decide,

Who will do the thinking, who will lead?


Days or maybe hours, minds are frozen

Someone must take charge and there is panic,

Some may think authority appears

The filling of the vacuum automatic


By then events slip into Armageddon

With bureaucrats colliding, six or seven






The chapel of the first to leave,

Some seemed lifeless, some to grieve,

Some seemed pale and some were flush,

A woman stroked a pet of plush


Some bent forward on the pew

Some sat upright, those were few,

Some were priests confined to chairs,

Few indeed could mount up stairs


Nuns in habits black and white,

Others had but little sight,

There were those resigned to fate

Or came in happiness to wait


There was Christ inside and out

Above, beneath and all about,

As young as rain, as old as suns

To be with these decrepit ones






Vasily Surikov (1848–1916), “Jesus Healing the Man Born Blind”






Did you not know the life of Christ

From birth to deeds and miracles

From cross and death and resurrection

Tells the soul a parable?


Teachers teach us by example:

Raise the dead, revive the ill,

Sooth the fearful, cure the mad,

Invite the poor to eat their fill


There was a man, true man and God

Crucified because He treasured

That which He created, gave

His service to it beyond measure


Here’s the way so follow Me

To love and Calvary, fear not,

Follow and do what I do

My faithful and Iscariot


Some were prodigal and loath

Some held back but came along,

The deepest parable and yet

The wood is heavy, few are strong


Few are strong so He took up

The cross of mercy on His back

The load of death and the corrupt,

He had the power that we lacked


This is the story that was true

The one He lived, the one He told

By living it to show the way,

He was a child and very old


So we will raise the dead and cure

The illness of the sick and take

A cup of water from the pure

Well of love for healing’s sake



The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified June 26, 2016/
Poems copyright 1994-2016 Pavel Chichikov/  

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