The First Sound is Never the Birds

The first sound is never the birds
Neither the coo of the pigeon in the palm
Nor the call of the scrub blackbird

Trash truck sounds first
Diesel motor idle roar
Breaking bottles
Pre-dawn-end-of-the-route whisper
Of tired haulers

Cars racing
Motorcycles revving
(Car alarms activated)
House alarms
Dog alarms
Fresh bread morning whistles
Ice cream tricycle kazoos
Old Marta shouting, “Ta-ma-le-ta-ma-le-ta-ma-le!”
(The first time I listened late and heard ma-le-ta [suitcase] not tamale)
Emergency sirens
Pounding, drilling, sanding, scraping
Street-vibrating renovations
Eleven million vying


Relax and respond

Never the first, never the last
Yet always the soothe in the din-
Awareness revealing the bird-song


For the coo of the pigeon in the palm
And the call of the scrub blackbird

.                                        Lima, Peru 2019

Irish Soda Bread

2c flour
1t baking powder
1/2t soda
1t salt
2T sugar
3/4c raisins
1c milk or buttermilk

(This recipe can be easily doubled.)

Form into a ball and let rest 1/2 hour on an oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 45 min. at 350 F.

Rub loaf with butter when finished.

Baked with butter on top

Bread or Cinnamon Rolls

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients:
3c whole wheat flour
1T salt
4t yeast

Heat in a saucepan (very warm for your finger- not hot!):
3c water
1/2c honey
2T cooking oil

Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.

1c whole wheat flour
4c white flour

Mix and knead. Let rise in oiled bowl until doubled in size (1- 1 1/2 hour)

Punch down and form into 2 loaves. Let rise 1 hour.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

For cinnamon rolls:
After punching down divide in half, roll out into a 12 x 18 rectangle.
Spread one stick of butter and sprinkle mix of cinnamon and sugar (1/2c white sugar, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1T cinnamon).

Roll up and cut into 12 pieces. Place in oiled pan and let rise.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.