Friday Poetry: Jealousy is not Jealous

Jealousy is not Jealous


Jealousy Comes Unbidden


“For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.

He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.”

Proverbs 6:34-35 | NIV


“…the Lord, whose name is Jealous…”

Exodus 34:14 | NIV


Jealousy saunters in, an unwelcome guest,

Put his sullied feet up on my chest.

Rakes the coals of smoldering passion

Into a fearsome forest fire. Burning. Always burning.

I’ll tell you a secret. It’s not because I’m cold that I shake.

These feelings, I cannot shake them, they will not break.

Jealousy embraces anger, the fires multiply.

My throat swells up and stifles my every cry.

Jealousy says, “Be like him, like her, like them.”

But never, “like yourself.” Not while bedfellows with fear of rejection.

Even if I want the best for everyone,

Jealousy unleashes its secret weapon.

My stomach rejects food.

My mind rejects sleep.

I’m a walking half-human, half able to breathe.

My defense is cold steel rail laid swifter than John Henry labored,

The train of thoughts chugging toward numb to escape the hot saber

Of jealousy.


Please. Not this.


I don’t want to stop feeling. Just to stop these feelings.


Why? Why of all the names did You choose Jealous?

Did You know we’d intrinsically understand?

Or do those fires burn only at Your command?

Did you select the most irrational emotion to explain

How difficult it is to tame

The heartache’s unyielding flame

When the there’s newly unrequited affection?


You chose the name Jealous not Jealousy. For that I thank You.


Jealousy hears every crackle of fire, every sap-filled pine exploding,

And nods in self-justification, laughs with foreboding.

Jealousy fears its dying hiss

Brought by gentle rains of a caress, a kiss,

A fire ebbing, leaving fertile ash in its wake

Fresh green growth, a passion stronger for the sake

Of Jealous.


What if the last state of us was better than the first?

What if the beauty unleashed by commitment was a sunburst?

What if Jealousy tried and failed?

What if those brought together ran off together,

Up and sailed

Into their premeditated midlife crisis of holding one another until the fires burned aright?

And stoked a fire that would warm them all through the dark night

Of the soul.


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