Gulls wheeling overhead
Carving patterns that never collide
Calling each to other in weirding cries,
A raucous chorus that haunts the air
Dipping and diving, rising and soaring
Carried aloft on unseen strings
By myriad unseen puppeteers.
They follow the boats far out to sea
And signal their return to port.
Regiments in white and black
Arrayed in untidy jostling ranks
That hover in the sky above,
Ghostly apparitions of those
Who dared the fates and lost
Now doomed to ever follow the boats.
All those uncounted seamen taken
On the waters over long millennia.
The sea rose up to pull them down
And fold them in its bosom.
When flesh devoured and bones all ground away,
And asked to choose tween Heaven and Hell
They chose instead to follow the boats
And be their sole companions
For all eternity.
When fishers unmoor and head to sea
They are upheld by all the hosts hovering above,
Feathered ghosts of all who sailed before.