Nests: ‘Climbing in the Swamp’ by Lauren Coulson (Creative Resident) #2

13 Mar



Welcome to the second of 4 post slots from our creative in residence Lauren Coulson:


In this series of works I have decided to explore the idea of the homes that we create for ourselves. I started with the concept of nests; I have always been fascinated how animals instinctively make their homes and how human shelters develop. From this starting point I decided to examine the various homes that I have made for myself in my lifetime, creating a short series of semi- autobiographical works that explore this theme. 


Preface: This was a poem that I wrote last year, and in many ways was the starting point for this project. It has been featured in my chapbook Through The Trees. Although I felt some resistance in using a previous work for this feature, I felt it was the right thing to do as this poem had bee central to my ideas.


Climbing in the Swamp


I had been told not to climb in the swamp
that was tucked down by the orchard
where we kept the chickens.
Not to climb the trees
that slumped lazily diagonal instead of reaching
upwards for sunlight, in case my feet slipped
and I fell into thick mud,
all broken bones and dirty jeans.
But I had to climb.
Needed to reach monkey hands from river birch to willow,
pushing myself up with skinny legs, until I was nestled
in the trees, roosting like a magpie.
I have always craved small spaces.



In 1992 a wriggling pink baby popped out of its’ mother, who proudly proclaimed “cor blimey, it’s a girl!”. Since then that baby has gone on to study art, and get a first class degree in creative writing (although she is no longer a baby). She now spends her time creating crafts to sell in her online shop and writing about the world around her. She is working on her first novel, a children’s book, but is a poet at heart. On top of this she has branched out into storytelling and running writing workshops in the local community. When she grows up she wants to live on a boat and grow vegetables.




Lauren will be back next Wednesday (19th) with the next stage of her exploration.  

Tomorrow, we have our Weekend Showcase with artist Ieuan Edwards and some more Transformations poems in a second post. Hope to see you there! 


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