Poem: “Memorial”


O dragon, dragon, what tower do you build?
A tower built in Babylon at which the worm is skilled,
Skulls are of the walls of it, mortar made of bone,
Who can know the plan of it? Only I alone

War and hunger are my slaves, fire is my heart
With which to melt the bones of them, the building then to start,
When I breathe corruption to fertilize the air
Each morbid exhalation raises up another stair

The temple at the top I made is of the sheeted gold,
Beaten and compacted, thickened fold by fold,
On the altar I lie down, beneath me is my treasure:
Agony and violence, hopelessness and terror

A child and not inhuman, my form was of another,
Then in passion long ago I sacrificed my brother,
This is his memorial though I alone remain,
Fire is the mark of me who once was known as Cain

August 12, 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."