for decades I have observed the ritual of reading ‘The Silent Night of the Batman’ just before Christmas (Batman #219, Feb. 1970, Mike Friedrich Neal Adams). At the time it was a quietly (almost silently, I suppose) radical idea for a Batman story because it involved no direct fighting action at all except the singing of carols – and yet everything still happened by itself! Wonderful four-colour magic! I wrote a poem to explore everything happening by itself without even the direct appearence of the Batman


The Silent Night of the Batman in Batman #219, Feb 1970; writer: Mike Friedrich; art: Neal Adams; inks: Dick Giordano




                                   the silent night
                                   of the Batman

                      even while they carried
                      their gift-wrapped parcels
                      and looked to each other
                      with smiles of belief
                      the shop signs hummed
                      dark against the marbled fronts

                      while above them the quiet floors
                      of stone-framed windows
                      looked east looked south all the same
                      the same in an ink-black sky
                      enough to write a novel in a single sitting
                      enough to hold a fleet of stars
                      above the skyline taxiing slowly

                      then the sky turns ink-green
                      the rooftop gathers ink-blue attention
                      and leaps without step or swing
                      through the glass and cornice
                      of city vistas and breeze

                      to shadow the guilt
                      to alley the share
                      to streetlight the fear
                      and river the rose
                      cast high and wide to the stars until


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