Poem: “Prester John”

Prester John

Somewhere there’s a priest named Prester John
The answer to our prayers, our champion,
Though we know what heaven we require
It isn’t found on Earth, but somewhat higher –
He can pull it down and anchor it,
A giant air balloon, and there it sits

In a week or month it is forgotten,
The ropes are frayed, the envelope is rotten,
Heaven down to Earth is not a palace,
Sand comes through the stitches in the ballast –
Prester John has run away somewhere
And what of heaven – who let out the air?

Shabby is the heaven brought to Earth,
And what’s a heaven made in heaven worth?

September 13, 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."