Lachrymatories for Layla from Maureen Cummins


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Etched glass bottles 2019


Upon listening to Layla’s poetry and her life story losing her sons to different parts of the war and later losing her husband to cancer, Maureen was inspired to make this piece with Layla’s poetry etched into the bottle in English and Arabic.


The bottles read:

I wish I could keep my tears
From all the years.
Maybe they be a river.
Or a sea.

أتمنى لو احتفظت بأدمعي
التي ذرفتها على مر السنين
فلربما أصبحت نهرًا
أو شكلت بحرًا

Adeeb (husband)
He is my teacher.
He is my love.
A very good man.
I don’t forget him.

أديب (زوجي)
هو معلمي
هو حبيبي
رجل صالح
لن يغادر ئاكرتي

Faiz (eldest son)
I can still feel
his hand
over my hair.

فائز (ولدي الأكبر)
لازلت أشعر بيده
تلامس خصلات شعري

Faris (middle son)
He loves me too much.
I miss him too much.
I love him.

فارس (ولدي الأوسط)
يغمره حبي
يغمرني الشوق له
أحبه من كل قلبي

Oday (youngest son)
I don’t feel he is dead.
I saw his son.
I cry when I saw the boy.
I feel that my son don’t die.

عدي (ولدي الاصغر)
لا أشعر أنه رحل وتوفي
فقد رأيت ولده
أبكي كل مرة عندما أرى ولده
لأني أشعر أن ولدي لم يمت

Firas (baby)
He was sick in his heart.
When he die he look at me.
I was feeding him always.
But he don’t live so long.

فراس (الطفل)
لقد كان مريضًا في القلب
لقد كان ينظر الي لحظة ما فارق الحياة
لقد كنت دومًا اطعمه
لكنه لم يعش عمرًا مديدًا

Life is like a book.
Sometimes you are happy
Sometimes you are sad.
In the end, you close the book
Forever.

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