Home > Poetry > The drill’s bright bit, its tip, its jewel
Tim Upperton
Published: Fri Oct 15 2004
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
The drill’s bright bit, its tip, its jewel

In a lane as straight as a child’s rule,
as twilight falls, not dark, not quite,
I swim another lap of the pool.

The water encloses me, comfortably cool.
The attendant passes, flicks on a light.
In a lane as straight as a child’s rule

I swim alone.And though it’s cruel
to keep him here on a Friday night,
I swim another lap of the pool.

My windmilling arms unwind a spool
of roiling yarn, soon lost to sight,
in a lane as straight as a child’s rule.

Fit for the task. I’m the perfect tool.
My dead gaze swerves right, swerves right.
I swim another lap of the pool.

The drill’s bright bit, its tip, its jewel—
I am the pen in the hand that writes.
In a lane as straight as a child’s rule
I swim another lap of the pool.

See what's inside AGNI 60

Tim Upperton’s poetry and fiction have appeared in AGNI, Bravado, Dreamcatcher, Landfall, New Zealand Books, New Zealand Listener, North & South, Reconfigurations, Sport, Takahe, Turbine, and Best New Zealand Poems 2008. He is a former poetry editor for Bravado, and tutors creative writing, travel writing and New Zealand literature at Massey University, New Zealand. His first poetry collection, A House On Fire, was published by Steele-Roberts in 2009. (updated 7/2009)

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