Princess of Samburu Nights

By g.l. bass
(the ghostbear still lives)


The Ewaso Nigre winds its way

Meandering in twist and turn,

A vein of mystery through the African night.

Dark moonless skies

Map ancient characters

And trace thin lines

Where journymen set

Their life’s course

As destiny

In delicate patterns

Across the palm

Of heaven’s

Deepest night.


The river splits the great

Rift valley where Samburu Warriors

Are keepers of the plains.

All along the wandering waterway

Night voices of Hyenas, Lions,

Elephants, Jackals, Buffalo,

And night Eagle-Owls,

Echo up the back of

Rolling camel humped hills.


Down from high arching limb of

Giant Sausage Tree,

A wraith of royalty,

She descends from her throne

Princess of Samburu nights.

She stalks the bush

Her green eyes piercing

Through dense darkness,

She steals the souls

Of her prey.

Stealth beyond

Any hunter’s skill,

She’s naught but

A ghost shadow

Until the moment

Of strike and kill.


All along the river’s course,

Where heavy woodlands

Stretch to dense bush,

And then out to deep grass plains,

A Princess of Death

She reigns

Upon the night,

Her victims like lovers,

She stalks,


And in kiss to kill

Drinks their blood,

Breathes in their soul,

Until in final grip

She holds and folds

Their last moment

In death’s cold



Princess of Samburu nights,

Elusive, reclusive,

She is myth,

She is mystery,

She is surreal.

Few have seen her,

But her beauty remains

Legend of renown

Across the plains.

Fewer still

Have entered her domain

And captured moments

Of her sublime beauty.

She is mystery and myth

Upon the dark nights

Of the Samburu plains.


Day upon day upon day,

In and out of bush path and trail,

All along the river,

We search but to no avail.

The reclusive Leopard remains

A mystery.


Purely by happenstance,

On a hot day when the sun

In full stride

Bends heat across the plains,

We stumble down out of the highlands,

And find her,


A Princess on her throne,

Hidden high where limb and trunk

Hold her secret amongst broad,

Dark arms.

Her victim’s remains

Stashed neatly out of site above her,

She sleeps the day away.

I stay with her,

In deepest humility,

Hour, upon hour, upon hour,

A voyeur watching

The Princess of Samburu

Hidden in her bed,

Sleeping in secret.

Finally she awakens,


Finds her way past me

And then disappears once again,

Deep into and beyond the bush,

Out along where river’s edge

Extends its soul into

The Samburu plains.

Princess of the Samburu nights,

A myth and mystery

I can now humbly claim,

As a witness,

In testimony

To her beauty,

Legend and fame.


g.l. bass

the ghostbear still lives!