Sunrise in Grey

Twinkling traffic in the distance
as the masses make their way
to another day of toil.

The bay sits to my left,
grey and lifeless,
on this overcast Monday morning
spent on my beloved perch.

Behind me,
the hill sits
naked,
former trees all gone –
some ravaged in the fire,
others cleared by man
in an attempt to stifle
any future rampage that may ignite.

The Muizenberg mountains sit to my right,
majestically rising from the ocean,
topped by an icy half blanket of cloud.

A rock pigeon drops in,
followed soon by another –
perhaps a prospective mate.
Yet his attention is unwanted,
and when she soon flees,
he, too, flutters away,
realising that hope is lost.

The sun is rising
straight ahead,
but I see nothing –
its beauty blanketed
by thick coverage of grey
as these clouds slowly drift South,
high above this academic city
which towers over the suburbs.

Trees below stand bare,
their brittle fingertips reaching
up to the heavens,
seeking warmth
which they’ll not feel
until the sun moves 180 degrees
many hours later,
shining on them
only in the late afternoon.

Students amble out of the tunnel below,
crawling over the fields
on the way to early lectures
at the start of this new semester.

The rugby stadium beyond
sits empty,
stands desolate,
as does its neighbouring cricket stadium –
one of the world’s most beautiful arenas.

To my left,
out juts the hospital –
the place where
my father-in-law breathed his last,
just six weeks ago.

Suddenly, a flock of white birds
clumsily form a V-formation,
traversing the sports fields below
before drifting out,
beyond sight –
urban majesty
in this man-made jungle.

And now I notice
swathes of colour
painting the still-drifting clouds,
as blue sky reveals itself
while the icy wind
relentlessly assaults my cheek.

Though I wish to stay,
I cannot linger much longer.
For, work awaits,
and beyond that,
life.

But for now,
I rejoice in gratitude
for the gift of witnessing
another day’s birth,
sunrise in grey
from my precious perch.


6 thoughts on “Sunrise in Grey

      • I don’t like the gloom much either. We had a run of overcast cold weather last week, miserable, this mornings sunrise was a gorgeous eruption of golden orange though. Winter here certainly brings the colour out. Perhaps tomorrow.

  1. What a clear description of all you can see during this granted opportunity to observe! Just the mountains and bay make it seem so grand and stunning, Yacoob!

    I ‘m sorry for the fire damage. I wondered how close these may have come.

    It leaves me both sad the writer has to stop observing to “join” the scene, and happy he’s had this almost indulgent time to be the sentient lens, taking it all in! Thank you.

  2. Thanks, Kitty. Cape Town really has some of the best scenery in the world, and all so close to the suburbs. Spots like this one just make me grateful that I call this place home.

    The fire was about a year ago, and it ravaged quite a bit of the university – including parts of the library where special collections were housed. There are pictures here:

    https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2021-04-20-in-pictures-runaway-fire-destroys-some-of-ucts-historical-buildings

    My parents live fairly close, and we frantically had to evacuate on the day, because it looked like the fire might spread there too. Thankfully, it didn’t, but this was the scariest disaster situation we’ve had, and they have since done a lot of structural work around campus and the surrounding slopes to minimise future fires there.

    Anyway…it was a rare opportunity to get back up there, and I enjoyed the time – despite the cold 🙂 That place has been an ongoing open-air fortress of inspiration for over 15 years now, and I’m grateful it’s still accessible once in a while.

    • It’s an astonishing view…my sweet spot is when mountains and “big water” are both visible, so Capetown is heavenly!

      Oh, my, it’s heartbreaking to see the library damage. What a frightening and ghastly experience.

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