Strolling in Lygon Street

I am strolling with delight

in Melbourne town,

with all its places diverse,

and corners that smell

of the whole world

and excite my senses

and my anticipation

of the tastes and textures

to come.


And in my gentle

curious walk across

the busy traffic

etching the art

of Melbourne’s night,

I enter and stroll

into Lygon Street,

Melbourne’s Little Italy,

the epicentre of food

and Mediterranean

gastronomic art.


Along the shadowy streets,

now lit as if on display,

the people also walk aglow

and parade and slip out of

bars and restaurants and cafes,

moving alone and

with each other

in a celebratory dance.


And as I stroll among

the offerings familiar

and amazingly diverse,

the Italian ones draw my nose

and my soul

to the authentic taste

of pizza and pasta

oozing out of the cracks,

as the waiters come and go,

dogging the strollers

in this intricate race.


Out of the mouth

of these food-dripping spots,

eyes look at me,

smiling, curious,

and stop, holding hands,

examining the disposition

of the menu

with an eye to spy

the best and the worst

and choose in

this revelry that is a night out.


As I stroll further on,

the gentle and persistent

invitations to enter and partake

are made, among outside set tables,

flapping and clapping

in the warm summer breeze,

and the mix of patrons

shifting from inside to out,

coming and going

in this moving spectacle

of the flood-lit night.


The tables are layered with food

and with smiles mingled

with the flow of cuisine to mouth,

mixed with the generous fruit

of the vine, drunk often

drunk freely,

drunk with abandon

in the Melbourne night.


As I move through the streets

littered with people

of all shapes and kinds,

fragments of uneaten food

linger in the feverish air

and breach my nose,

and drive me to see it all,

dodging the hoons

and the drunks,

polite and rude.


Till I finally sit

to look at the moon

and the stars of this

warm Melbourne night

and take in the bustle

and celebration

of this intoxication

called Lygon street.