« Here is the man » – Jean-Pierre Nortel

English translation : Nadia CAUCHEFER, Dominique PERRIOT-MATHONNA

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Station 1

Here is the man
In front of the verbiage
Of men…

The man
Trapped in betrayal,
Pushed by soldiers
On the threshold of his house.

He tilts his head a little,
The spit of a question
Runs down his cheek
And on the edge of the lips,
The venom of torture.

He sees the crowd of curious
Gathered by the event,
With them, the fearful
And the indifferent.

He listens to the cries,
The speeches,
Like rats…
The gossip gnaws on his Words
The truth.
All the words
Who condemned him…
His defenders wash their hands
And throw water
On the embers.
The city is planning a celebration
And stuffs itself with grain
That it should have sown …
But under the ashes of this hour
Some men are hiding…
To lose reason.

Hidden fear
In each chest
Takes a breath,
Goes back to the mouth
And spurts out
In cries of revenge.

Everyone gives his opinion,
Everyone hopes
A fair sentence.

-It must be deleted
The nuisance!

So the trials end,
The judge holds the scales
And gives everyone
Good conscience…

Station 2

A crown
Intertwined links
Across his forehead.
Room for his thoughts,
Poacher’s Collar
To strangle
The Final Word …

And laughters
Wound the humiliated head.

But a soldier
Drops the coat.
Unloads His Burden
The ground resonates…
Noises fade away
With the echo …
The last smiles
Dig the ditch
Of a circle of silence…

Man is alone,
In front of the wooden beam.

A wooden beam
In front of the Man,
A tree
Torn from the earth,
A pole
Cut in a hurry.

The man closes his eyes,
He reaches out,
He pushes back the moment
But like a fiance
Who comes out of his house
He takes a giant step.

Station 3

A familiar smell
Enters his head.
A scent of green wood
Intoxicates him
And wakes up in him
Ancient joys
Work and pain mingled.

He bends down,
Glues his ear
On the frame piece,
And grips it against his shoulder …

-Is it the sap that spreads,
Or his blood,
That he hears spout
Like a torrent?

He stands up…
Look ahead,
Bends over to take another step…
The wood rocks.
The knees bend.
The noise returns.
Men in the crowd
Make their way through.

-It’s too late!

Man has fallen
Crushed under the weight.

It’s too late.
The shipwrecked
Clings to his tree
A flood of distress
Throws him flat on his stomach.

How good it is to be lying on you
As with someone
When we’re cold,
As with someone
When we are afraid.

The breath of his mouth
Digs the dust
And waters the place.
In the mud,
He lets go of his complaint.
The Earth
Takes back his first cry as a child.

He forgets the anger
He straightens his back
Takes the beam

-He is standing.

Station 4

His mother is there
In front
Distorted face
Between two trembling hands …
Between two praying hands
Which gently …
Pull it …
But the arms of the mother
Collapse on her hips.
She offers her body
Man advances …
He draws in his gaze
The strength of a new step
And pass …

Station 5

A moment calmed down
The storm returns
On whispered voices.
-Will it go all the way?
We must help him …

-Are we helping
A man to die for?

-You have to help him!

A finger reaches out
Towards a passerby…

A little detour for relaxation,
A curious detour
Towards the gathering…

A passerby…

Someone among honest people
Who was going to his house
Who wanted to see from afar,
To stay informed…
A passerby,
Who doesn’t mingle with stories,
But who wants to wear …
Carries only half the burden.
Who wants to do well
What we ask him!

Safe gestures,
Calculated movements,
He carries half the piece of wood,
It is necessary
What we asked him …
With generosity!
Will not be paid …

-The crowd thinks that the world must change…
And watches it go by without moving
The procession of fraternal sacrifice.

Station 6

The clamors get closer
And the laughter is fat
On each side, the crowd bows …
A young girl
Almost a child
Dares to leave the ranks,
Arms are stretched
And hold it in vain …
She advances in the middle of the path

She walks
Towards Man …

His fear consumes his courage
In front of the soldiers escort
But she looks at the Man
And stops the convoy

A cloth escapes
Of her dress
Flies away with her hands
Up to the face
Of the condemned,
And she wipes
She draws
By caressing it
All the features of his face.

One last onlooker
The jostling…
The crowd disperses…
She no longer knows how
Everything started up again …

She sees on the ground
Wet laundry
In mud colors
And blood.
She picks it up.
Passes the walls
And towards the city, runs away …

No one is watching
However, she cries …
A name…

Doors receive it
Like a water hammer.

Station 7

The passer-by requisitioned
Feels the overwhelming,
More than usual.
The load he carries
Weighs on his back.
Something bitter,
A grudge
Comes to his mouth
He spits insults
To those who falsely encourage him.

His companion in front of him
He changes his grip
And replaces the beam
In the vice like grips of his hands
At that moment, he
Lets the wood escape him
And everything is falling apart
And tumbles forward.
The Man, whom he had to help,
Crushed under the weight
Fell for the second time.
He bends,
-It would be better not to go further!
But Man looks at him
He stands up!…
-Is it for him?
The girl with the white linen?
For someone in his path?
For his ideas… his ideal?
-For who?
For those who judged him?
The Man who’s going to finish it?
He stands up! …
He begins to count his steps
And the passerby
Resumes his work
Without being ordered.

Little by little people are leaving
And go back…
Children stroll back,
One of them turns around …

Whispers his prayer.

Station 8

We are already far from the city
And the path twists
To climb the hill.

The procession still pulls
Some fierce:
The mother,
Hanging on the arm
From a pale young man.
Some women…
Trailing and black shadow,
A moving jellyfish of despair.
Some women whose sobs
Raging on wounds,
Whose sobs punctuate the effort
Of this Man,
That soldiers take
To the place of his death.
They cry at every hesitation
They scream when they are short of breath
And he, the Man,
Can’t take it anymore.
So with enough force,
While everything stops,
He looks up
And shouts:

-Do not Cry!

Don’t cry over me …
If the wild beasts
Eat the spring sucker
What will we do with the branch? …

-Where did you take your children?
Go home!
Gather them
Because the hour is coming!

It is necessary with them
Get out of your homes
To reap the harvest.

Station 9

The man,
Doesn’t know
Since when
He goes up, alone
The path,
Doesn’t know,
Since when
His companion is gone,
Since when,
He drags again
His tree …
The pole!
Orders slam,
The air is cooler …
The escort has just reached
The top.

But, the ground is sinking …
The stones roll
And his body capsizes
Under the wooden beam.

Here is the man
For the third time.

Despite the kicks
Which forces him to get up,
He sees
Through the burning of his eyes,
A clump of grass …
A burst seed…
An insect that searches for its food …

Life sings
And caresses the earth

He then leaves his lips
In spring
And straightens up!

Station 10

Here is the man
He arrived at the crazy place,
Whispers and complaints
Succeed to anger
Around him
The soldiers are busy.
They go fast
They finish their work.
The Man doesn’t look at them,
Armored death
Fixed on his eyes
The band of fear.
The soldiers are busy
They are quick
They tear the last piece of clothing from his body.

Here is the Man

Beauty of the flesh
In his flayed youth.
Body delivered.
Torrent of blood under the blue veins.
A hanging hand, folded fingers.
The other, on his stomach,
Shows the link to his birth
Chain ring
Who ties him
To the land of men.

Here is the man

Prepared for unequal combat
In the midst of the disguised people.
-Who doesn’t wear a mask?
-Which of us does not take the face of another?
Here is the Man in his truth.
Here is…
The son of the Man!
Behind him,
The judge does not recognize himself.
The innocent and the guilty
No longer recognize each other.

Here is
The naked Man.

Station 11

Like a lumberjack
The trunk of a sick tree,
The executioner’s hand
Throws him back,
The Man falls…

Here is the Man
On the back
Lying on his pole.

The soldiers around him
They shoot at the legs.
They spread their arms
They fix
They tie
They nail
At the port of pain
They anchor the ship
Of their fear
And hatred is engulfed
In a storm.

They want to hold back
The crazy words
Proclaimed in the city.
The words of fire
That the people listen
And that the supporters
In order to remember …

They drop
They lower
They trample the cry of freedom
Still floating
In the midst of the turmoil
Like a torn sail.
So that he no longer speaks,
They type
They’re riveting on the wood
The nuisance.

At each stroke
Man stretched out like a bow
Launches to heaven
The arrows of his suffering
And in his chest
Which already hurts him
He smothers his hope.

As we raise the sails
On the foremast,
The soldiers pull the ropes
To hoist the pole
With its load
The body appears
On the ocean of hate
All sails out.
Liberating ship,
A Compass
Of the Creative Spirit
Forever suspended
Above the earth:

Man appears. 

Station 12

He opens a breach
In the wall of the sky
And traces four paths
Which measure the universe.
He’s looking for some air,
He is supported
On his torn feet.
What he says triggers lightning
But that’s the word
” Sorry “
Who takes the thunder
It’s with him
That two thieves die.
One good, the other bad.
It’s near him
Let his mother cries
On the shoulder of a young man,
Yesterday’s friend …
Who for following his path
Has become
His brother…

It’s with them
That he ptries to pray,
It’s in front of them,
That he shouts:
“Why did you abandon me! “
It’s to sing life
That he stammers: “I’m thirsty”
It’s in a last breath,
As night comes,
That he whispers: “All is
It’s for the whole world
That he transmits his Spirit.

Hanging on the beam,
Collapsed on his legs,
The hanging head
And the pierced heart,
Man is dead …

Water and blood
Run down his skin,
Trace roots
To the stump of the tree
And spread
On hostile ground.

Man is dead.  

Station 13

Some friends snatch him
From the top of his post.
In the bush of the hands,
As we lower a flag,
The torn body collapses.
Mother is on her knees
Receives him in her arms,
Murdered bird,
She brings to her lips
The hand of the beloved Son
And drops him
Like too heavy a stone.

Man is dead …

-O all of you who pass,
Is it a pain
Who looks like hers?

Station 14

Some friends are there
To carry him in the ground:
The girl with long hair.
The woman with herbs
And that one of perfumes
And then this man, again,
Who gives his garden.

Man is dead …

Man is dead!

-But if the grain does not die
Who will bear the fruit?

The earth is already lifting
The tombstone.

Here are the early hours
And the first morning.

Women again
Up the trails
And the young man returns with his supporters
And it’s the beating heart
That them run away
Towards the place of their fear
Where Man awaits them.
Here are the early hours
And the first spring.
Standing on the other side,
Here is the Man

With a wave of the hand
He shows the paths.
Of all his words
We load the ships

Here is the living Man
For centuries to come.

Here is the Man!