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. 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. 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.





Sanctuary Light

Photo by Pavel Chichikov





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





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





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 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





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





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






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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