Focus on Frame!
Around the ragged rocks the ragged rascal ran – Janet Frame
This phosphorescent plate
with rugged edges
that are rocks not entwined roses
might heaving turn to serve up
a tongue twister from a drowned man’s mouth
- a ragged rascal.
I remember him running and running along the beach
the cuts on his feet bleeding, his eyes staring wild.
And then he was floating in the sea, dead.
A ragged rascal, the people said.
They made us say it too, slowly and quickly to improve our speech
Around the ragged rocks the ragged rascal ran
I wonder did he know or care
that his suffering on that lonely South Island beach
might improve our speech?
Or did he understand and deplore
the too many trivial uses of adversity?
I found these poems in an old poetry anthology from school. Unfortunately there isn't a reference for where they originally came from.