The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEW! See Pavel's photos at Pavel's Camera. Recently added: Winterfest 2017, with scenes from our town's Christmas parade.

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.





Floy Zittin (contemporary), “Take Flight—Barn Swallows”

Courtesy Fine Art America





She asked me: “Why so grim and harsh these days?

This mood, is it a temporary phase?

The shallow lilt of sparrows in the air

Of breath and sun all creatures take a share

And you and I together make a part

Of this completely unaffected art

This life between the darkness and the sky—

Love birds, someone called us, you and I”


I have no answer to this enquiry

No one knows me better than does she

And yet I have no feeling of repose—

And I can see what premonition shows—

Of course, it may be fancy of the mind—

But accidents have surely been designed






Small as the sparrow that breaks from the shell

Deep as the summons that rings from the bell

Dark as the spirit that slides on the sea

Strong as the word of the coming to be


Then after creation the world had decayed

Death’s resurrection to life was delayed

So a second creation as great as the first

Life was released from decay and uncursed


A power unspeakable causing a pure

World of existence He made to endure

Such was the power of Jesus’ dominion

When death was defeated by Christ’s resurrection


Now it exists although to the blind

Invisible, those who are sighted will find







Lynn Andrews (contemporary), “The Burning Bush”

Courtesy Fine Art America




The whole world is a burning bush

Holiness if we but knew

That on the ground of Eden grew


Forbidden to us to be touched

The ripened fruit eternal flame

But only those who ate could name


The presence in the tree could speak

All within its spacious shade

The world of space and time was made


What would happen if we ate

The fruit of life and death, could we

Comprehend reality?


The fruit would burn the heart of us

Look around you and keep still

The whole world is a parable







Georg Grosz (18931959), “Cain, or, Hitler in Hell”

Courtesy ABC Gallery




Not even fifteen

They took him away

To a home for delinquents

In handcuffs—he’s violent


His mother’s a junkie

The husband sells drugs

She’s often in jail

Her husband distributes


The father’s own father

A drunk so amok

He was locked in a basement

Often for weeks


Her father and mother

Were slaves to the core

Of drugs and compulsion

To scavenge for more


The child is so violent

His teachers won’t have him

Strong beyond years

He beats other children


Where is the hope

For people like this

If they should vanish

Who fondly would miss?


Perhaps at the Judgement

A judgement of all

Not by the saints

But by those who appall


Not by the best

A decree from the worst

Everyone judged

By the lost and the cursed


Cain was in error

When asking if he

Was the watch of his brother

And so will we be








Photo by Pavel Chichikov





Who will say when winter has begun?

The wind conveys the firing of the guns,

In every city all around the sphere

A shiver of anticipating fear


And when the burning rockets start to fly

Which of us will live and who will die?

When the lights have faded and grow faint

Where will be the refuge of the saint?


Tell us now what others have foretold,

The advent of an everlasting cold,

Tell us what the prophets prophesied

A remnant lived and all the others died


Winter in the summer will begin

When sunlight in a summer noon grows thin






Fra Angelico (1395–1455), “Christ’s Descent into Limbo”

Museo di San Marco, Florence

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons






In those three days He wrestled with the darkness

And all the power used to make the world

Was used again to sanctify the cosmos


As Jacob wrestled with transcendent power

So Jesus grappled with the bane of light

The paralyzing grip of endless night


In all of us the dreadfulness goes on

Death within the life of us will try

To make us yield, convincing us to die


Jesus be our champion and friend

Death is stronger than our feeble strength

Intercede, our strength is near an end


Take our places, grapple with the foe

Come and make the horrid fiend let go




(November 21 is the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple.)



Giotto di Bondone (1267–1337), “The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple”

Cappella Scrovegni, Padua

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons




I saw a little church

Standing on a hill

All around it clear

All around it still


Candles at the altar

Candles at the back

Light the holy pictures

Blessing to attract


Candles ever burning

Holy is the room

Candles never waver

Nothing is consumed


Candles ever burning

Wax becoming flame

Candles never ceasing

Praise the Holy Name


Candles are the faithful

Light of Paradise

Mary was a candle

Burning with the Christ


The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified November 19, 2017/
Poems copyright 1994-2017, Pavel Chichikov/  
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