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,
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
with a viscous mixture
of caked russet mud
and dried eggshell concrete
that looks like spent semen.
were not entitled
to anything, except
toil, job loss,
bread lines, whiskey,
pungent sex, the release of death.
(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.
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.