November Obtestation

Photo by Shelagh Murphy on


  • n. The act of protesting; a protesting in earnest and solemn words, as by calling God to witness; protestation.
  • n. An earnest or pressing request; a supplication; an entreaty.

Likely, obtestation isn’t in your daily vocabulary. It wasn’t in mine, until today. The word even baffles most spellcheckers. But no better word encapsulates what follows. Rather than spend my usual three paragraphs of introduction to set up the poem, I will let the poem speak for itself in the light of its title. Let truth and justice prevail.

For those who value the finer points of poetry, note that each line of the first two stanzas begins with an action verb, ending in a noun. Then, each line of the final two stanzas opens with a noun (save the last line). This flip is intentional. May the actions of the first two stanzas bring about the state of being revealed in the final two stanzas.


Vincent H. Anastasi 2020

Blow the whistle
Bait the rat
Strike the gavel
Spring the trap

Wave the banner
Sound the horn
Beat the drum and
Come new morn!

Ears that listen
Eyes that see
Hearts awakened
Souls set free

Tongues of fire
Songs of life
Toll the bell that
Ends the night!

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