The wildness of the natural world, and of the spirit, just barely contained; the elemental and the ephemeral; a primal darkness full of stars; fistfuls of tart black fruit-this is the stuff out of which Paul Fisher makes his poems, poems that are mysterious and musical and often terrifyingly beautiful, carved out of the strange light of this world "into luck, luminosities, pearls." -Cecilia Woloch, author of Carpathia When there is no wind, rain / tells vertical stories about the ground," writes Paul Fisher, and in taut poem after taut poem he translates those stories, moving vertically downward through "ghost-riddled strata" and upward beyond "Christ-old sequoia," then horizontally to understand "the calligraphy of mice and voles" and how, "peck by peck, our ragged / world is drawn." His "tempestuous marriage to poetry" offers more than the usual consolations-it provides celebratory reminders of habitation, intimacy, and "the raga, the renga, the unceasing prayer" that deepen our lives toward meaning. -Michael Waters, author of Darling Vulgarity Paul Fisher's poems in Rumors of Shore are set with both deference and a gentle yearning in the center of the wonder, mystery and occasionally terrifying randomness and brutality of the natural world. He generously beckons to us, the readers, to join him in his experience of nature, his questions, his sweet hungers: "Like a dew-studded seedling / I wanted to wear the rings of wisdom / rippling the heart of a redwood tree." His is a soft, evocative, welcoming voice, resonant with a deep humility toward this world: "Sometimes I watch winter geese / veering back through dreams, / wild wings spread / like shadow-puppet hands, /. . .What use is it?. . . / no answer to my question / put to sun and moon and rain." Paul's thrifty, precise use of language, and in particular, metaphor, can astonish us with its unexpected, evocative images of the living world that expand its meaning, its importance, its essentialness: wishful skin, warm wine blooming, the moon rowing on, the pirated gimcracks of autumn, weeds riddling our walls with roots, as far as the wind can snake. This is a first book to be taken very seriously, and I am eager to read more. -Becky Sakarelliou, author of The Importance of Bone.