The Moon, the Storm, and the Jungle

Last week, we featured the work of two young local students, Irene Lui and Lillian Hereford, winners in a contest sponsored by the Office for Multicultural Student Services at JMU.  The third winner is Alex Hunter-Nickels, a sophomore at Harrisonburg High School. As a member of the HHS Habitat for Humanity club, helping others, as Dr. King did, is something Alex has grown up with.  His family has hosted many refugees in their home, and Alex and his parents have participated in service trips to Costa Rica, Spain and El Salvador. Alex is also musician. In addition to performing with his high school’s marching and concert bands, he plays guitar and sings lead with his band, Wolfe Street Tower.  Alex’s winning entry, which you will find below, is a poem, The Moon, the Storm, and the Jungle. It was inspired by Dr. King’s words: “Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.”

The Moon, the Storm, and the Jungle                  by Alex Hunter-Nickels

A cold street I walk upon
Through a cold, foreign night
The moon seems to be the only light
The moon seems to see through me
My fright with its might
My tears with its fearless eyes
Though I have never spoken to it
Though it is so far away
Though it is not my moon, but everyone’s,
The moon guides me with its light

Martin Luther King is our moon
And his words … are the light
Which through the shadows I see.

A snowy storm I tumble through
A snow with the power to blind
I search for warmth
But only does the ice bite back
Where am I?
Only the piercing wind replies
Finally, I fall to my knees,
And a shadow falls upn me,
A soft hand drifts slowly down,
Powerful, yet kind and true,
I feel its warmth,
Through a foot of falling snow

Martin Luther King is that hand,
And his words are his warmth,
Through the cold and hopeless

A thick jungle I am lost within,
Freakish creatures and strange noises
Make me shiver, skin to bones,
Make me cry, make me moan,
I am hot and tired,
I am lost and screaming,
Through the shadows and the bearming rays,
Desperation is my jail cell,
I am trapped within,
Then a path I stumble upon,
Or was it there all the time?
I feel the reason I live to tell this tail,
Was not for luck or chance,
But because that path was reaching out,
To everyone and everything lost in that jungle,
For as I looked up from the path I had found,
I was not alone,
I was not afraid,

Martin Luther King reached out to everyone he could,
Through his words, he still speaks
Through his dreams, he still watches us,
Through his hopes, he still feels,

I look at the shadows beside me,
And I realize,
There is light … and in the deepest darkness.

You can read more about Dr. King’s legacy on the JMU and how the university is celebrating the life of this American hero.

You can also learn more about JMU’s Center for Multicultural Student Services at



About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: