Niema Ronni Williams – Motherless Children
Our Fresh Local Lit series serves up poems and prose by Philadelphians twice a week. Today’s author, Niema Ronni Williams, is a science fiction novelist pursuing an MFA at Arcadia University . Her poem, Motherless Children, cured a bout of writer’s block she faced while working on her novel. &
If you could choose one spot in Philadelphia for inspiration for your writing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s an impossible question for me to answer. My first thought was anywhere downtown with a high vantage point. Then, I remembered how much I loved the focused atmosphere of Temple University’s Computer Labs (I’m an alumni); as soon as I thought about that, I remembered how many great novel and poem starts I had sitting around in Saint Joseph’s University’s campus and City Ave. So, I realize the perfect spot for my inspiration requires a view, people- not bustling, per se, but involved in their own affairs and sunlight; I also need a really fast computer with great Internet access so I can fact check or elaborate on my more adventurous ideas/word-play.
What inspired your poem “Motherless Children”?
My own science-fiction novel. I was creating nomadic teenage characters surviving in a final World War of sorts. Poetry is my first love, so my writer’s block led me to write a first draft of “Motherless Children,” after which I noticed connections to today’s youth and from there came the final rendition of “Motherless Children.”
What book(s) have been in your beach bag or suitcase this summer?
Ellen Hopkins’ “Perfect”
Orson Scott-Card’s “Ender’s Shadow”
Jay Asher’s “13 Reasons Why”
Rick Riordan’s “The Serpent’s Shadow”
Candance Bushnell’s “Summer in the City”
Might as well be barefoot
As far as they go…
They long since accepted ashened fields
For Christmas snow
Revival was hidden from them
No, no churches, synagogues, mosques—or temples
Just the masses
Wander where none of mine can go
For the familiarities of masonry work
Porous sun-baked earth, living in chorus:
Motherless children desire home
For Judgment, Armageddon and Come-what-may
Trite they were to long for a ghetto
But we were them lifetimes ago
Before the gamblers paid dealers debts
And the cards re-shuffled
Know no difference betwixt the North Star and Sun
But to say: ‘Joy is promised in the morn’
Believing they’re only a trick of words
Since they awake and mourn
For they are bowed to see only before them
Finding eye color frightful
They have no reference
Not even granted a notion for romance
But to be abased to the abound
They are prideful in their passions and determinations
And for their efforts their faults go ‘round
Wander where the mind shouldn’t go
All, for the consolations of home
They challenge their souls,
Could use a wish right now
What could be done with hope for a tomorrow
Couldn’t they then…imagine a dream…?
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&So let’s make pretend for the time
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&That we are not afraid of the other kind
Niema Ronni Williams is a Philadelphia native. A member of Central High School’s 262nd graduating class, she’s gone on to graduate from Temple University (B.A. Communication ’08) and Saint Joseph’s University (M.A. English: Writing Studies ’11). Her work has been featured in a variety of community papers, including North Philadelphia’s Blackstarr and Saint Joseph’s University’s The Avenue. She has received writing awards from Philadelphia Community College, the Philadelphia Free Library and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. Niema R. Williams has published two poetry and prose collections, November’s Reigns and Divinity@Temple, both available on Amazon.com and is a contributing member of the Yahoo! Network. She’s currently involved in teaching, while pursuing a MFA from Arcadia University and completing her first novel, a science-fiction piece, entitled The Story of The Prince: The Volume of Honora. She is so appreciative to be included in Apiary Magazine.