Kafka Diaries 6 April

Today, in the tiny harbour where save for fishing boats only two ocean-going passenger steamers used to call, a strange boat lay at anchor. A clumsy old craft, rather low and very broad, filthy, as if bilge water had been poured over it, it still seemed to be dripping down the yellowish sides; the masts disproportionately tall, the upper third of the mainmast split; wrinkled, coarse, yellowish-brown sails stretched anyhow between the yards, patched, too weak to stand against the slightest gust of wind.
I gazed in astonishment at it for a time, waited for someone to show himself on deck; no one appeared. A workman sat down beside me on the harbour wall. ‘Whose ship is that?’ I asked; ‘this is the first time I’ve seen it.

Artist: Anne Magill

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