The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov


NEWS! 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 has released a description of its Pavel Chichikov Poetry Collection of printed, digital, and recorded materials.

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, 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!

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.




Corrie van Grondelle, “The Soup Kitchen,” Bandoeng, Java, c. 1943

“And the line gets longer every day!”

Courtesy Memory of the Netherlands, Drawings from the Camps in the Occupied Dutch East Indies (1942–1945)





A Dutch child in the Dutch East Indies

In 1941, on Java, many years ago,

Imperial Japan invaded them

So I heard her tell, who else may know?


South to the Indian Ocean there to meet a freighter

The refugees fled southward, those fearful Dutch civilians,

While close behind the conquering Japanese

And so there was a freighter placed on station


The ark of rescue rocking in a gentle swell,

But as they stood reprieved on shore

They heard a sound that made the sky reverberate,

A red sun on a fuselage, the engines roared


Bombs were dropped that pierced the iron hull, the Dutch ship broken

As they watched from shore, their liberation gone,

While from the road behind them came the sound of trucks

She told me on that day, five decades on


Then there was a long internment, pitilessly hard

With hunger and anxiety and hardship all in plenty,

While from the Netherlands could be no word

Nor from those alien impassive sentries


But she survived, survived—

If Antoinette had never told me so

Who would have known to look at her

How tough some people are—who else may know?


Who else may know the toughness of the secret heart?

The spirit of the weak is wordless, hidden

Until the day we share what we have learned—

Though evil is most strong survivors are more stubborn






We are wasting for true love

Hunger and a famine, ribs of grace

Show through the flesh


Where is the secret horde of love,

Who has hidden that bright treasure

And for how long?


Look beside you at the faces

The careful blankness of withdrawal

Of the famished self


How easily we slip away from sight

Behind a door of watchful courtesy

And bare indifference


But in this careful watchfulness

There is a wary but important hope

For that which is invisible


So that when Jesus teaches of the Holy Spirit

He speaks of this when manifest in us:

True love and sacrifice


Even to the death, yes death

That love which gives itself

To be itself







When I look at someone’s face

I see the face of the unknown,

The features being but a trace

Of what the light of God has shown


When Jesus looks He sees the whole

Of what we were and are, will be,

The living spirit and the soul

Beneath the features eyes may see


Imagine then if we were so,

As Christ can see so might we too

Peer beneath the skin to know

What is within, complete and true


You would see no secret there

Within my flesh, the inner core,

And you would know how deeply bare

You are to me, and were before


But never shame to be exposed

From infancy to when we die,

No portion of us would be closed

Nor what we are we would deny


I think that we would all unite

While being open to the gaze

Of each and to the Holy Light

Of God in unity of praise


That which brought us to that sphere

Would be the substance all entire,

No shadow in us but the clear

Vision of that holy fire






John Constable (1776–1837), “Cloud Study”

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons





Princes of the air they sail,

South by west majestic go,

Not vaporous, embodied air

White-robed nobility they flow


Procession of the noble mist

High-chested and of sober worth

To courts unknown as royal guests

Where hurricanes unbelt their girth


Peers and princes of the sky

Their goings broad and make no sound,

Around their fringes seagulls fly

And all the hunting swifts go round





Groundhog, Woodchuck, Whistle Pig… (Marmota monax)

Courtesy The Life of Animals





They are companions of the dead

Who slip through pipes beneath the hill

Which underneath the graveyard spread

To catch the seepage and the spill


Their fur is dense and chocolate brown,

Heads are flat, incisors keen,

Their tails go long against the ground

And in the dark their kits are weaned


Suppose a dog intended harm,

To seek and find them by their smell,

The hill would whistle in alarm

Within the darkness where they dwell


Now overhead the shadow rolls

A soundless awning from the east,

While all around are living souls

Emerging from the graves, the beasts






Summer Night (Big Dipper and Daisies); photo by Bob King

Courtesy Astro Bob





Someone gave a gift, a book

About the haunting of a home,

He said read this in daylight only

Not at night when demons roam


By night or day it makes no difference

We do not tempt the underside

Of surfaces we see by day,

The commons of demonic pride


We are forbidden to hold traffic

With the Lord’s menagerie

He banished to the world beneath

The everlasting congeries


Of life, the honest summer night

Of moth and bat and firefly

And vole that creeps between the tussocks,

Starlight fire in the sky



The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov / Last modified July 26, 2015/
Poems copyright 1994-2015 Pavel Chichikov/  

Proudly hosted by 

Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author.