More Winter Wildness

February 16, 2010 on 1:12 am | In General, Nature, Photographs, Wildness | 10 Comments


The Positive and The Negative Version                                                                      JimJ10


The Wishing Tree                                                                                                                 JimJ10

Snow Trees                                                                                                                           

South Dakota Magazine WILDNESS Book Review

October 20, 2008 on 1:30 pm | In Book, Photographs, Wildness | No Comments

The current November/December issue of South Dakota magazine reviewed our book and this is what they said on Page 32 the BOOKSHELF Section:


WILDNESS: POEMS and PHOTOS (44 pp., softcover)

This book is a collaborative effort between longtime friends Charles A. Haislet and James E. Johnson. Haislet is a Minneapolis doctor of Medicine, while Johnson who enjoyed a 35-year career in art and design in Minneapolis, now lives on a Brown County Ranch. Johnson’s photos taken mostly on the Pete and Mikki Caspers ranch south of Hecla, served as inspiration for Haislet’s poems. The result, Haislet writes, ” is a book where the poetry and the image are so intimately connected that they create a third body that is more than either alone ”


A photo of a snowy trail ( pictured above ) led to the poem ” Cold Cabin

Day after day I awoke
in a cold cabin
lit a fire and
looked out at this road
Each day the same

But once after lunch
I walked out,
and walked and walked
and just kept walking





Sample inside spread

This is the first Book published by WILDNESS B O O K S – our new publishing company.

We will be looking for other books on WILDNESS to publish in the future.

For books – $ 19.95

Jim & Charlie at their POETRY READING & BOOK SIGNING

October – The Red Rooster Coffee House – Aberdeen, South Dakota


” Jim, I love this book that you and Charlie have done! The photographs completely amaze me. I’m thinking of the baby ducks and that snowy road through the trees ( I have a big copy of that in my study) and the winter scene next door and the lone tree and the moon up above the prairie. Beautiful, beautiful ! ”

Robert Bly – Poet Laureate, State of Minnesota



WILDNESS with a Twist

October 8, 2008 on 11:50 pm | In Wildness | No Comments

I love to do collage and did a lot back in the 70′s and 8o’s – I had two gallery showing. One at my studio on Loring Park and another at Bob Thompsons’ Gallery next to the New French Cafe in Mpls.

Collage is so spontaneous and lightning fast. Its like a spark of creative crazyness. I started doing collage when I was working at the Walker Art Center, I had about two or three going on the wall that I would add to between design jobs. Now I do the same thing between photography, drawings, design projects, ranching and farming.

Heres an example of that creative crazyness. And I guess its that WILDNESS I look for in Nature in my photography

only here it comes from inside me – what a revelation ! Ah Hah


Wildness With A TwistPhoto collage and prisma pencil 11″x 17″ JimJ08

Prints available at –

Caspers Ranch WILDNESS

October 8, 2008 on 11:03 pm | In Wildness | No Comments

Here’s some of the WILDNESS in my world on Caspers Ranch where I live in South Dakota.

The Land
The People
The Animals
The Plants all the Living
The Breathing
The Moving Wonder of IT ALL

IT takes my breath away



Caspers Ranch WILDNESS - Photo collage & prisma pencil 11″ x 17″ JimJ08

Prints available at –


October 6, 2008 on 9:38 am | In Collage, Wildness | No Comments

My Mind Has Been Lost in The WILDNESS of It All,

I have been doing a series called me and my shadow.

Theres something about the shadow and how it changes with light-


Self Portrait, Lost in Wildness – Ibsen photo print JimJ08

Prints available at –


September 21, 2008 on 9:40 am | In Nature, Photographs, Wildness | No Comments

The quest for the divine, or oneness with the universe, always springs from within.
For me I have discovered that by going to our Mother – Mother Earth – and who better describes It than Episcopal priest Mattew Fox.

“By digging deep into a wellspring of WILDNESS one finds the energy for new life, connections, images and moral imagination by which change happens in a deep, not superficial, way.”

As Paul said in his latest email-

It doesn’t matter where you find your spiritual path. We are all fundamentally spiritual beings and the essence of that lies in knowing one’s true self and finding a peace that comes from within rather than the outside world. It is in remembering this that we awaken to our personal path. The spiritual path springs forth from a daily routine that reaffirms our personal connection and purpose.

Recently I read that there are:

7 SOUL WOUNDS that are widespread in American Culture.

They are:

1. Separation from Nature

2. Separation from personal creativity and perception

3. Separation from dreaming and the visionary capacity

4. Separation from the ancestors/spiritual worlds

5. Separation from the body, deep masculine and deep feminine

6. Separation from the Essential Self /Purpose

7. Separation from the Cosmos

The journey of integration of all the parts of the Soul into a whole is called INDIVIDUATION


My Son JOE JOHNSON – who gives me great Joy, Pride and Love -

As perhaps – DaVinci’s modern “Man the Designer” on his path to INDIVIDUATION – - October 2008

Grandson Spencer on the Ranch

June 5, 2008 on 10:17 am | In Nature, Ranching, Wildness | No Comments

My grandson Spencer was visiting the ranch last week, a full time was had by all.


Spencer taking me for a ride.


On our way to the rodeo.


Signs of Spring on the Ranch

April 25, 2008 on 1:19 pm | In Ranching, Wildness | No Comments

High boots in the muddy manure
scent of winter mildew moistness
from sweet grass hay

Babies abound
mother cow bellows with the pain of the new calf
her calf struggles to breath through the afterbirth
some don’t make it
others struggle to stand as the herd moves forward
mother sheep groans a out shoots a white furry missile
predators await

Gray Drakes patrol the nesting area with there
heads and neck bent down mouths open hiss – s- s-s-stay away
big wings spread and flapping
they fearlessly attack any thing that moves
protecting the gander on the grade AAA eggs

Clouds of blackbirds swarm with wings of red, yellow and white
they move with UFO shap and speed through the cattle

There are fresh aromas in every step I take
It is time for cowboys to sing
and say ” ha-ay babe, walk on the Wild Side ”


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