The Shipwrecked Sailor

I met a shipwrecked sailor there, sitting on the rocks…


I left the noise of the funfair,

And found a wild beach,

Where the only sounds were the wind and waves,

And the seagull’s lonely screech.

I met a shipwrecked sailor there,

Sitting on the rocks,

He introduced me to his crew;

A toucan and an old sheepdog…

I first published this illustrated poem in  2008. I have recently re-printed it with  improvements- higher quality paper, richer print quality and some slight changes to the illustrations and text.

The Book costs £6 and can be purchased here:

It all began when I had a picnic on the wild Beach to the east of Hastings, beyond where the tourists go. You have to scramble over huge rocks to get to this beach.  It is a magical, desolate place where the strangest drift can sometimes be found. The boy in the story finds the strangest drift of all: a shipwrecked sailor with his broken boat and crew- “a toucan and an old sheepdog”.

The poem-story follows the boy as he sails off with the shipwrecked sailor and his crew to “the enchanted misty place where the horizon meets the sky”. The illustrations mix photos of Hastings with my drawings. Here’s some details from the book:

I  visited a school in Brighton who were doing a project on the book. One of the children asked if I could do a recording of it to help her sleep! Here it is:

The Shipwrecked Sailor

The language and rhythm of the poem was inspired by the verse of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. Poems like ‘The Owl and The Pussy Cat’ are strange and nonsensical but have a wistful surrealism that feels very true. I’m going for something similar in this book!

2 replies on “The Shipwrecked Sailor”

My name is Jane Waite and I am Grace’s mum, I am going to send you a cheque for your Shipwrecked Sailor and the shell collector – I am a teacher and we are doing a sea topic next along with use of photographs and drawing so your fantastic books will be brilliant.

Hi Ed,
I think your books look lovely – I saw them in Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight. My question is this: do you live here? in which case can I stock them too?
Best wishes,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s