Poem: “Citadel”


It wasn’t just a place to name the animals
To guard the Tree of Life
To know the good of life and not the evil

It was the citadel impregnable, a refuge of the trees
A rampart of the oaks and tamarisks
Walls and towers made of limbs and leaves

There was a peace harmonious and ample
Sunlight gentle, river banks and orchards
Eve and Adam noble, strong and simple

Out beyond the walls a savage wilderness
A noisy roving of the demons
Desolation and the wind’s distress

When they were cast out the two became
Shrewd and subtle by necessity
Where nothing was as simple as its name

If they said one thing they meant another
And if convened with God to claim fidelity
The ploughman of dissension killed his brother

Do you see that shimmering of green
As if a forest or an island rose
Behind the curve of Earth unseen?

It is the guide of love who is the scout
And sees the high reflection in the west
And finds that green and secretive redoubt

April 30, 2011

Pavel Chichikov is a Washington DC-based poet and photographer. He has written for both the secular and the Catholic press on issues as diverse as Russian nuclear weapons systems, Olympic athletes, and miracles. His books include From Here to Babylon: Poems by Pavel Chichikov,  Lion Sun: Poems by Pavel Chichikov, Mysteries and Stations in the Manner of Ignatius, and Animal Kingdom. Pavel may be heard reading his works on catholicradiointernational.com and on pavelreads.com. His poetry regularly appears on "The Poetry of Pavel Chichikov."