Great Lakes Trail Marker Tree Society
Founder and President: Dennis Downes

The Trail Marker Tree

The hands were laid, the stakes secured,
to hold the sapling firm,
then father Time applied his will,
in process for a term.
To bind in cause, and stay in form,
but change in height and girth-
this wonderwork of nature,
set to point the way on earth.
A pathway guide - a journey's aid,
a symbol poised to show,
the way to destinations-
in the dark and in the snow.
By language known to some-
and yet to others a mystery,
the friend of Natives and to Downes,
The Trail Marker Tree.

Donald W. Hecox, JC

A Tree and A Man

You, of indigenous past,
dark and wrinkled,
as flesh of time,
of sun,
take root.

'To last for lives,
spin your rings,
like spool and spider.

Root in these eastern woodlands,
to point a knotty finger
to the river,
to the sacred,
to the home.

Stretched in youth
by strap of hide,
pulled tightly to earth,
as braid.

Your arm,
your limb,
raised to grow and run,
like footpath beneath,

Carry me, once more,
through starless night,
through snow underfoot,
through times of sky,
blackened by storm.

And you, with walking stick
and gentle hand,
you are passage,
and this before us,

Chosen to teach,
the window of the past,
pained with trail and trespass.

You have listened,
and learned
as child with curious mind,
amongst the elders of oak
and elm.

In soil rich with rain,
you hunt and gather
those unearthed elements.

You search for meaning,
for history
with these ancient natures.

So that you as those before,
may come together,
sparked by festival of fire,
to bare truth and to bare trade

A poem by Jennifer Harris
Inspired by time spent doing field reseearch
On the Indian trail marker trees
with artist Dennis Downes

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