Featured Poet Winter 2020: Ken Head

The High Window

massacre 2


The High Window is proud to make available the following previously unpublished poem by Ken Head, a distinguished and greatly undervalued poet. The editor would like to thank Margaret Head for her assistance in providing this text, which she found amongst Ken’s unhpublished work. Ken dated his final draft of ‘One Foot In Charon’s Boat’ 11th December, 2012. It was inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder’sMassacre of the Innocents‘, which was itself inspired by contemporary acts of repression in The Spanish Netherlands.


Ken Head: One Foot In Charon’s Boat
after Pieter Bruegel the Elder


He’d sooner torch whole villages than miss a chance
to flush out heretics, that’s what their king
told the world, why he sent Black Alba,
his witchfinder, to hunt down renegade priests.
A dangerous time to seem out of step, safer
to lie doggo, take no risks, trust nobody,

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