Jake Kaida, 9/7/2015

Current Occupation: Writing Instructor
Former Occupation: Nomadic Farmworker, Mentor to at-risk youth
Contact Information: Jake Kaida, author of Blue Collar Nomad, is a writer, poet, pilgrim, teacher and environmental activist who has spent time in all forty-eight continental United States and several Canadian provinces.  He has had books published by several Indie publishers, and he is a long time contributor to the alternative press world. Both Kaida's life path and literary work engage un-conventional modes of living and create a much needed dialog between marginalized citizens, itinerant workers, spiritual seekers, artists and the greater community. 



Autumn in America

(On a ranch in western Wyoming)           


These are the last moments of August,

but summer has already left.

Long days of sun and dust

have turned into a chill at dusk.


Soon the vivid green ground

will turn brown and muddy,

then frozen and packed hard

under the weight of billions

of distant white flakes.


The crab apple tree I transplanted in June,

is laden with small oblong red and yellow-skinned fruit.

The young maple with its autumn-pointed salmon red

and tawny-tinted leaves is bent towards the cabin,

caught within the throes of the lonely Wyoming wind,


as it careens and howls

through screen doors and cracked windows

searching for something or someone

to cleave onto.





(Eugene, Oregon, October 2014)


An old sepia photograph

of blue-collar laborers

hangs on the wall

of a brewery

in northern Oregon.


The men hold,

or lean

into their shovels,

paint and honest dirt

crafting a mural of hard work

on tatty denim overalls

and firm, spare

Northwest immigrant faces.


Resilient orthodox spines

hold red-striped suspenders

in place, while their

pitchforks and trowels

are encrusted

with a viscous mixture

of caked russet mud

and dried eggshell concrete

that looks like spent semen.


These men

were not entitled

to anything, except

toil, job loss,

bread lines, whiskey,

pungent sex, the release of death.




Rabbit Field

(Autumn Harvest, Troutdale, Oregon, October 2014)


Rain drops crick

down burnt yellow

and washed-out green vines

that creep up stone stairs,

wind around black gas lanterns.


The hop’s acrid perfume

mashes into maple, pear and grape skin gusts,

while young men in yellow oilskin overalls

wash the remnants of fermented auburn suds

from burnished aluminum barrels.


Tanked-up tourists

carouse along the natural walkways

or boisterously mix inside the bar.


The gnarled oxidized water tower

looms over the brunet, maize,  

and purple-tinted valley,

resembling an old pagan deity

who silently impregnates

the deep flushed gorge.




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