Ravens are Silver

Shamanic practice is central to my recovery from the psychological wounds of war.

In the past meditation was difficult. My quiet mind was soon filled with memories of combat. They shamanic practice of watching animals without judgment or expectation trained me to observe myself in the same way. That was a key to avoid being re-traumatized by the full context recall used in cognitive behavioral therapy. The Animal Practice I have done over the years opened me up to the source of true healing. My connection to the world of spirit began about eight years ago.

I went out to my garden and saw a Raven sitting in the top of a bear pinion pine. A second Raven landed in a nearby shaggy cedar. The second Raven watched the first. The first watched the sky. Raven number one would make an occasional comment “Grok-croool”. That first Raven kept looking west, just above the red rock bluffs.

I couldn’t see anything but blue sky. I don’t know what that Raven was expecting. After a while it made a final comment,  “Gra-a-a-ak”, and flew East, apparently satisfied it saw all there was to see at this particular place and time. The other Raven shrugged its wings and followed. In the air, it looked twice as big. I went back inside knowing Ravens can see things I can’t.

The next morning a Golden Eagle  flew low over the hill that separates my back door from Oak Creek. A raven swooped in – not playing. The Eagle evaded and reached for more sky. The raven’s harassing seemed chaotic at first but then I saw the raven was not random. It moved the eagle further and further from the earth and away from the hill where the ravens liked to sit and watch.
The eagle was transported from the realm of the raven. The noble and heroic eagle gracefully obeyed the laws of magic Ravens know so well. The raven made a swooping turn back towards me. Its body glinted silver in the morning sun. I realized ravens aren’t really black.

Another certainty blossomed. All my reaching and wanting, all my noble and heroic deeds, my therapy and thrashing and medication will not relieve the torment born of trauma.  For that I must remember – Ravens are Silver and Eagles respect their will.

Kill List

Forty-one men on the Kill List were targeted by drone strikes. 1147 people were killed and six of the targets are still alive.
The military calling drone strikes surgical is absurd. In the case of Baitullah Mehsud  seven drone strikes were made and 164 people killed before he was killed. Said al‐Shihri  Got lucky. He was the target of four drone strikes, which killed fifty-seven people, but he is still alive.

Executive Order 11905  (1976) was meant to improve oversight of political assassinations by the CIA. Executive Order 12036  specifically banned political assassination. Those in favor of tone strikes would argue that the individuals on the kill list are not official political leaders. The United Nations has questioned the legality of US. drone strikes. This has revealed some gray areas. To continue killing when there are gray areas is just not right.

Drone strikes are #immoral, illegal and ineffective. They produce more jihadists than they kill. #War has not been declared so we should not have troops in hostile territory or be #killing with the use of our #military.

Our love was a casualty of war

Far away tonight

I am so weary but dare not sleep.

If I close my eyes and slumber

dawn will find you nearly faded.

You seem so far away tonight.

The candle at our bedside

Flickers in your eyes.

Will a light be left there

when that candle dies?

Oh how your eyes passed through me

and saw what I forgot.

I was the one you always came to

and now I know I’m not.

What dreams have you been hiding?

Is there something you can’t tell?

Perhaps an unknown anger

a fear that love can’t quell.

I can no longer touch you

the way I used to do.

And though you can’t be with me.

I will be with you.

You seem so far

So far away

Far away tonight

I am so weary but dare not sleep.

If I close my eyes and slumber

dawn will find my courage faded.

I feel so far away tonight.

I know I never thanked you

for the comfort that I got.

You were the one I always came to

and now I know you’re not.

There were dreams that I was hiding.

A secret guilt I couldn’t tell.

A closed heart choked with anger.

A fear of love as well.

It’s too late to say I love you

the way I should have done.

You broke my heart wide open

Janet, you were the one.

I feel so far

So far away

Far away tonight

©  Tom Puetz   2004

   The Rain

I release the faint and reassuring pressureLexmarkAIOScan15

of my fingertip on the trigger there.

I let loose my death grip,

hug my weapon like a teddy bear.


The rain keeps coming, more thick than strong,

washing the chemical hurt from the hill

whose side we huddle on.


I can’t say I feel safe, more embraced

by a subtle act of God.

Surely the most hardened Vietcong will not violate

this night of washing clean.

©Tom Puetz 2010