Hayley Cannon


Warm, warm, warmer, hot

until suddenly in relief.

The thought you never thought you’d have

the image it shocked you to conceive of 


lurches out of the autostereogram.


Sirens pierce the quiet, trapdoor opens.

Whoooooosh down, down it goes

into the cell it lands.

The bulk, now obscured by bars

thrashes, flails its limbs

but is contained.


Years pass.


Some days it accepts its lot

pokes a finger out beyond its pen, yes

but for the most part



Other days it wails

bends the bars and bites down

hard upon the iron.

Reaching back its arm it starts to trace

the letters, the familiar form

branded on its cheek

hot, hotter, hotter still

until forever in relief:





Writer and songwriter Hayley Cannon first studied English at Oxford University before embarking on training in Psychotherapy. Psychological themes are often present in her work, notably in her debut album Who Are You? which earned her the title ‘one to watch’ (The Guardian) and gained the attention of Tom Robinson (BBC Introducing).

Edited by Ben Sweatman