the three monks

the only mountains in england
apart from those hills in the north
called mountains by fixing the rules

are the three monks
tall the way children see gods
shadow on all the flat cambridgeshire

the remains of some prehistoric volcano
tan brown absorbing sun shining on vertical
up and fractal bare to the very top

where each peak rounds
to a colony of hard green pine
fringe on the head of the pious

these three stalwarts surround
the fussy little town of tull
on the march to sleaford road

flat and straight across the fens
up and down and winding round
flat and fenland straight again

and why do you not know these monks
natural cathedrals of geology
dominating the tower of god–love ely

military deceit maps the monks as meres
see the mars of shocked german bombers
and that pair of nuclear b–52s