In Lancaster


We poked around the sort of shops that thrive in academic towns.
They brim with sci-fi from the 60s, printed vinyl, creepy clowns.
Lancaster’s just that sort of place, built out of history’s bric-a-brac
Where Waterstone’s and John O’Gaunt’s own castle sit there, back to back,
And gimcrack allies smuggle haunts that offer soot-smoked hats and lace
Worn last in late Victoriana – stuff like that’s all round the place,
Where bongs are bought and Tarot cards are sold alongside Brussels sprouts.
Outside one shop we saw two girls stopped dead as they were coming out
By an excited Dalek. Not the sort of thing you often meet.
It shouted “You’ve not bought a thing!” then chased them, screaming, down the street.

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