Great Plains

by Bruce Willard

I could drive for days without fear
of outrunning these patchwork clouds,

bridge lines of cumulus
this way or that towards the horizon,

midway between one place
and another, standing up
to the administrations of wind.

I like a destination which pulls
true, deliberate,
but at great distance. Like

I like the slow imperceptible
progress of knowing
but not knowing
how far I’ll travel today,
where I’ll find gas
for the next leg
or when.

Joanne Berghold has published her third collection of Montana scenes, Without Compass. For 25 years, Berghold has roamed the back roads capturing images of this vast country. She wandered off on inviting gravel roads, with the sun at her back, seeking tranquil images of clouds, sky and open land to photograph. She had no plan or clock, just floated in the landscape. There were many adventures, flat tires and long walks to the nearest house and kind people who rescued her. With her dog and plenty of water and food in a cooler she was not afraid and, in fact, had fun.

Without Compass presents 102 black & white images of grand, patterned landscapes, introduced by Rick Bass, environmental activist and author of diverse writings. The book is Made In Montana.

“But such extreme awe, as found here in Berghold’s photographic beauty of tone, beauty of composition, beauty of shape—whether in replicated patterns of parallel convergences, transects, contours, or the unmappable pleasure of curves, sines and asymptotes of a grace (there, I said it, one of those weakened words)—seems to exist on a different plane entirely.”
Rick Bass, Environmental activist and author of diverse writings, including Winter: Notes From Montana and All The Land To Hold Us

“I got to see your photographs for Without Compass, I love them, and many of them I want to live within, just like I do good paintings. I suppose I do live there, you certainly have a fabulous eye.”
Jim Harrison, prolific author, including, Legends of the Fall and Dalva