I Am One With Such Gods As Those Who Dare The Cold!
that deafens and dwarfs the mightiest of men
and threatens to swallow all, as if
the world were nothing but cannibal,
and our Gods are strange, defiant souls
such as ourselves, throwing out mad gambles
against infinite, taunting expanses
whose resistance and chaotic mayhem
seem to say, "I dare you," to half-cocked
fist-in-the-air fools like ourselves, for whom
courage is a lust for reality, and to meet
the frozen hard world on its own terms,
simply as contempt for that fear
which is so obvious in the face of mindless
engulfing that seems to face a man at any
corner. What ever-present fear in a world
so vastly difficult and full of sharp, rough edges
every grown adult knows like the thump of the
heartbeat, and boredom grows for this nauseating
cowardice that enfolds and grips every moment.
Shake loose! One might raise one's voice in roar
and boast, and stand, shaking fist upon the mountain
crying out, I will worship no giant, no matter how large!
Finally you say the night goes on eternal
beyond any man's reaching, and I come to loathe
this fear that makes men low and snivel
before a crushing fate. I do not dream, I defy;
I do not envision, I projectile; I do not walk, I gallop;
I do not cry I scream and find my mighty untapped strength
with the howl and roar of bears and wolves who'd rip
my kin, no second thought, and pile their pelts
upon my back, claws and fangs dangling, saying,
I am one with such Gods as those who dare the cold!
"Impossible." They take impossible and tear it up
with wit and unexplained boldness, and casting lots
with fists and tools and runes and songs, build world up
out of its shattered fragments. Thus is a world made possible!
"You will be defeated," cried every howling, monstrous thing
upon those sheer and perilous plains of cloudy twilight,
and words like those egged on with ever fury ones
who would not, could not, shall not go under
against the might of mighty mountains' masters
more monstrous and mountainous than any mountain.
I say I'll hang myself upon all the worlds to find some secret
way, if that be what it takes to sternly knock down
too-certain guardians of loneliness and barren mayhem,
and he hung, hung hanging, darkness won, ogres gloated.
But some power greater than fear had arisen, and this
defiance-of-fear was a new emergence forcing spin
of new-textured fibres in the matrix of Wyrd, and any time this
happens, all is changed forever. Some new quality had been
brought forth in anger and in fury and in madness and in sheer
curiosity with a lustfulness to know and dare the insane depths
of death hanging against the terror of the cold and starry night,
and gossamer webs became fibres became twine became
strongly plaited ropes became cables and gables and rig and braid,
and it was no longer impossible, though highly improbable.
Dare it! Your Gods know the senselessness too, the hopeless
futility, and dare even, besides, for the sheer joy of daring!
For whatever ripped shreds of rended flesh random mayhem
may blast, bombarding, significance achieved cannot be stolen :
fair fame of daring deeds -- even never known -- live forever.
Shake loose! I am one with such Gods as those who dare the cold!