Bridgewater Treatise

If Babbage was correct, 
that the residual motion of our speech
never truly fades 
and all of human language 
can be recovered 

from a jar of air taken at random 
from any piece of sky,
then might single hawthorn twig
be sufficient 
to trace the origin 

of every other tree?
Their history written in a twist of cells, 
strung like thin ribbon
along the dense flesh
packed within the heartwood.

Or take this glass of water
and let it stand for all those shores
we've never seen:
the burnt sand giving shape
to the ocean it contains,

the liquid moved from edge
to edge, not by the moon
but by your hand, tipping it first one way
then the other, to flash 
beneath that lamp's small star.