Poem: “Rara Avis in Terris Nigroque, Simillima Cycno”

Rara Avis in Terris Nigroque, Simillima Cycno
— Juvenal

[A rare bird on Earth, like nothing so much as a black swan]

But who will know when rare birds come
That may take form as any shape,
In greatness or as modicum,
A man, a woman or an ape

And they will walk and they will fly
And they will surface from the deep,
And most who see them will deny,
And some who wake return to sleep

But some who wake at any hour
Between dark midnight and sunrise
Will see a sun of darkness flower
Above the landscape of your lies…

O darkness as a blooming flower
Light to us as we are blind,
Those who wake at any hour
Can see in darkness as sunshine

And what we see does not conform
With all that we are told see,
The lies of night are uniform
But truth is like a blossomed tree

March 14, 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."