National Poetry Day 2015: ‘A Future Worth Fighting For’ by Wayne Visser

To celebrate National Poetry Day in the UK we’ve invited Wayne Visser, author of Greenleaf Publishing title Sustainable Frontiers, to share a poem on sustainability with our readers.

A Future Worth Fighting For
By Wayne Visser

“This is war!”
So my son tells me
And my daughter agrees
But I have some questions
I don’t really like wars
Or making enemies
So tell me …

If this is war
What are we fighting for?

We are fighting for the earth:
For the birds of the air
And the fish of the sea
For the sick in the villages
And the hungry in the cities

If this is war
Where are the battlefields?

The planet is our battlefield:
The smoky plains of the skies
And the murky streams of the oceans
The burning lungs of the forests
And the aching hearts of the people

If this is war
Who is the enemy?

The enemy is our separation:
Hiding behind fences of politics
And sheltering in dugouts of religion
Lurking under shadows of economics
And camouflaged in masks of progress

If this is war
Who are our allies?

Our allies are ordinary people:
The luminous tribes of the South
And the caring villages of the North
The rising tides in the East
And the changing winds in the West

If this is war
What are the weapons?

The weapons are our faith:
Our fortress of courage to hope
And our bedrock of belief in justice
Our wellspring of creativity for solutions
And our fire of passion for change

If this is war
Where is the battle?

The battle is where you are:
Around the fires of your homesteads
And the tables of your boardrooms
In the aisles of your supermarkets
And on the wires of your networks

If this is war
Who are the losers?

The losers are prejudice and vice:
For judgement is the father of fear
And power is the mother of pride
For hatred is the child of ignorance
And greed is the orphan of isolation

If this is war
Who are the winners?

The winners are life and love:
For diversity flourishes with freedom
And hope blooms with compassion
For development spreads with peace
And purpose calls to us all

This is war then!
So my children tell me
And I for one believe them
I still don’t like the talk of battles
But I think they are right
The future – their future –
Is worth fighting for

* * *

Wayne Visser

Wayne Visser is a writer, poet and professional speaker. He has written 24 books, including seven poetry collections: Life in Transit; I Am An African; Icarus; African Dream; String; Donuts, Bubbles and Me; Seize the Day; and Wishing Leaves. Wayne lives in Cambridge, UK, and enjoys art, nature, writing poetry and learning about new countries and cultures. Many of his poems are available on

Learn more about Wayne Visser’s Sustainable Frontiers: Unlocking Change through Business, Leadership and Innovation (Greenleaf Publishing, 2015) at or by visiting the Greenleaf Publishing website.


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