It must have been

an evening in early August

when ‘cacophony’ was coined.

What other moment

could have minted

such an awesome articulation:

the world’s most perfect word?

It could only have been

an evening in early August—

summer’s penultimate peak,

its yellow apex

of crisp exhaustion,

relentless haze,

and infinite insects.


It was surely an evening

in early August

that was first christened


Two grown brothers

in Adirondacks,

surmising over snifters,

searching, scratching

for that word

as yet unborn,

unspoken and unknown.

Webster was found wanting,

with its diminutive ‘din,’

and its incomplete ‘outcry.’

‘Tumult’ was too vague,

‘commotion’ too common–

inadequate to describe

the roaring ruckus,

the blaring, bustling, Babel

of God’s winged insects

in the August all around them.


And so ‘cacophony’

was coined to capture

the chaos and clamor

of that auditory onslaught

unique to an early August evening.


was an inception—an invention—

to ameliorate an ambiance,

to embody an energy.

‘Cacophony’ was conceived

to concisely convey

the singular symphony of

an early August evening.

And now every subsequent evening,

in the still of summer’s nightfall,

we sound our own barbaric yawps

we sing and are not silent–

the songs of ourselves

the songs of our summer

the cacophony of our creation

over the treetops of the world.

August 9, 2021

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