book cover

THULE EXPLORER
Kayaking North of 77 Degrees

Published by Hidden Brook Press.
ISBN 978-1-897475-05-8


After lunch with the Inuit at Nunatarssuaq, we enter the open water of the fjord again, rounding Kingingneq Peninsula’s bulbous nose, before crossing to a campsite on the east end of Qeqertat Island for the night.

The horizon wavers.
Inside the sweet interference of precious light
tall ice rises quietly out of the fields of glass.
Here the mountain lies down beside sky,
your kayak intersecting the sea-plains
in the translucent flush of late afternoon.
Strained by too much beauty,
reason wants to lose its way:
this benediction in the timeless moment
making explicit the world without shadow;
here the promise we had hoped for
replenishing the soul’s gape;
here the pattern, a reminder of the whole
we can’t quite grasp
and through the desolation
a return to the work that grows the heart.

Light is becoming a major theme and the incidental music of my days. I’m swimming in sensation and mad with the beauty of it.

From Blurbs:

Savour the white of the margins here as it holds this distinct and reverent prose to its itinerary along an edge between poetry & journal. Clewes shares soakers and awe.
We follow her Nowhere, eagerly. This is going too far, thankfully. This is risk for song.
~ Phil Hall

Rosemary Clewes is one of those rare gems that, if you’re lucky, you discover in the most unlikely of places. Her spirit brims with the thrill of exploration, and yet she calmly absorbs every detail. In this book, she explores the edges − the edge of centuries-old ice, the edge of the world, the edge of her world − and finds miracles live at the frontier of one’s reality. She brings to her explorations a practised eye, an intelligent mind, the newcomer’s sensibilities, and an insight inclined to the metaphysical. If you have an adventurous spirit, or admire those who do, this is the book for you.
~ David F. Pelly, Arctic traveller, & author of Thelon − A River Sanctuary and Sacred Hunt

From Reviews:

In Canada’s Arctic Journal, above & beyond magazine, David F. Pelly wrote an article entitled Soul Searching by Qajaq. Of the writer’s kayaking trip to the North West coast of Greenland he writes:

"SHE HAD NEVER UNDERTAKEN SUCH AN EXPEDITION BEFORE, WOULD NOT CLAIM TO BE EXPERT IN A KAYAK. SHE WAS THERE, SHE SAYS, TO HAVE “SOME CONVERSATIONS WITH THE LAND.”

The Polar Times is the twice-yearly journal of the American Polar Society.
Thule Explorer: Kayaking North of 77 Degrees reviewed by Herbert R. Drury. He writes:

“Readers will find a thoughtful discourse on her inner feelings almost as much as her extensive descriptions of scenery or events encountered with her small band of ‘modern day explorers.”

and a request...

"Thank you for the book and the added manuscript.. I found myself enraptured reading Thule Explorer the other day, as well as the other poems. Your deep sensitivity to landscape and meaning... beautiful.

  For the purposes of my music, I was particularly caught by a poem in the chapter Short Cut to God. I love the sentence leading into this poems, and was wondering if I could include as part of the words for an art song..."

The saxifrage blooming around my bed-for-a-night is already spirit  --its long-lasting flowers, a kind of decorative innocence.

          For it is innocence, isn't it?
    The moment before green speaks its name
        or declares its intentions;
    before form decides to be itself
        or its own reflection.
    Its when the whole body laughs.
    I pray that the alchemical winds
        will love me more than I deserve,
    each breeze a new pipe dream for tomorrow.
        I own the thought
    that I am looking for a shortcut to God.

     ~ Peter Skoggard