The New Omelas

The New Omelas

             by Lilian Ntximhlub Her

—after Ursula K. Le Guin’s "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"

 

In the great city of Omelas,

where its citizens lived in prosperity and bathed in the light,

a child lived in suffering and was drowned in the darkness.

The child was kept underground, under the city-- silenced.

The citizens and the city itself thrived from the pain of the child.

 

In the great nation of the United States,

where the rich and the privileged live in prosperity and bathe in the light,

the minorities and the poor live in suffering and drown in the darkness.

The minorities and the poor are kept underneath, under the glass ceiling-- silenced.

The rich and the privileged themselves thrive from the pain of the minorities and the poor.

 

Oh, what a coincidence!

 

The adults told the children of Omelas,

“Be grateful you are not the child,

be thankful you are not the one suffering--

so live life happily.”

And yet, no one spoke up for the child,

no one did anything about the misery of the child.

They chose to walk away from the child.

 

The adults tell us, “Be grateful you are here,

be thankful you are not the one suffering--

so live life happily.”

And yet, no one speaks up for the minorities and the poor,

no one does anything about the misery of the minorities and the poor.

They choose to walk away from them.

 

Oh, what a coincidence!

 

In the great city of Omelas,

there were people who walked away from Omelas.

They walked away from prosperity and light,

and chose to walk away from happiness after seeing the misery.

They chose to walk away from the child.

 

In the great nation of the United States,

we won’t follow the citizens of Omelas:

we won’t walk away;

we’ll speak up for the silenced;

and everyone will live in prosperity and bathes in the light

for we are the children of the United States of America,

where all are created equal with the right

to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Oh, what a cause!

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country
Our world

Comments

GodsSpokenWord

Why do you say no one speaks up for the minorities and poor? Everyone does! The news is thriving with information centered around these people. People march through the streets and their message is heard! Whether people respond to it or not is another thing, but people are being heard. This is the country of FREE SPEECH, and that has not changed. I don't know what kind of a person you are, but you sure are asking for a lot of help from everyone else. Perhaps you do, but if you don't, maybe you need to personally do what YOU can do to help. Get your hands dirty and interact with these people. The "poor" and "ignored" don't need an audience of fans; they need Jesus Christ and helping, loving hands.