New Telegraph

Purple Butterflies: Of Hair clicks, Nectarines, Drums

Title: Purple butterflies

Author: Adigwe Angela Chidinma

Publisher: Redletter Crib signature

Year of Publication: 2021

Genre: Poetry

Reviewer: Dami Ajayi


While reading the poems of Angela, I was immersed in the copacetic cobbling of words and had no other option than sight the gems that make her work not just enthralling but also critical of different spaces in time. How she is able to sashay divergent views to drive home her poems.


Angela writes like a drummer adept in raising alarms and caution while seated in his corner; beating sounds of festivity, alarms, royal calls and also happy to lead the pack in felicity. Women swing their waists at the sound of drums while men clap and prance to the compelling rhythm.


The drum always gives a sound that makes people leap in anticipation of movement, a burst of energy that knows no bound or fettered. In the poem, Drum, Angela exemplifies her disposition to the eclectic sound of drums which is attributable to her portfolio of being a dance therapist, performance artiste.


We felt the crust of sounds in the poem. Drums When the hands run amok on a bata-beat / the chaff peels and tumbles into the ears of the deaf / it trundles like rain-pellets on rotten sinks / Krrrrrr pa – krrrr pa – krrr pa / this is the language of spirits / breaking all encumbrances across existence / the rhythm swirls beyond apostrophes, / happiness is a sinew of ellipsis / what is missing cannot be missed again / villager on the last pint of fun / this rain comes to upend the joy / what is a city without a drum / a drummer to straighten the gait of haggard waist / a drum drives the dross off the metal of melancholy / raise the left and right arms, / the silk skin of the drums is the slab for the undressing of the moon.


Chidinma brought us to the mill of effort to audit the complexities of life on a streak of manpower and how people can be thrown off balance when they slip into the dreary woods of fantasies while at work.

This poem describes the shenanigans of workers at work while trying to make ends meet. Most workers eventually had to feed on the articles leftover where they work.


Nectarines Solemn ride on restless mills / hands on meters body on electrics / Men mounting pressure on broken trucks / the mile is near and wild / run on it, leap a bit wait, look aside / half a bite for your itching buds / so is the bite for all in the woods / chill and take a handful of nectarines / to quench your thirst for ease. In the poem, ‘Rogue city’, Angela wrote about the ineptitude of the men at the reins of affairs in her country by surrendering their hypocritical lives in these pages of the book.

She bemoans the incessant killings and incalcitrant disposition of the government to the people.


She predicts the imminent coming of an innumerable company of Babels who will prove the works of this government and leave no stones unturned, eating their ways back to good governance and justice and equity in the polity.


Pick coins like paper, your mouth suffers inflation and many pockets suffer from dysentery, run the streets with a handful of dust, tumble your home training in pursuit of happiness.


This is how a city will plunge you into the waters of psychosis. Here is the interlude. Your nation blesses other nations with the resources her own citizens lack and dare you to talk.


Scorpions break into your door through your sink at night. Bring out your license to have the basic comforts of life while others perish in penury. Beat the sun into midnight.

Curse the hands that hold the mace in the wretched assembly. Wait. Wag your tongue about the ritualistic lurking in the corners of the city like vampires. One chance Another chance: Do not rub their bleeding hands against yours during elections. Run off the cliff of dementia. Blur them out of memory. Wait. A new name is loading. Loading.


A new name is loading. This rogue city awaits a bath in the pool of anger. Angela in the poem above, screams the heart and expectations of mostly the youths in her country and the bouts of afflictions that plagues it. Angela, in the poem, soft like a lady, describes a persona whose obsession is social media and always in the craze of meeting up with every trend and the painful urge to make    contents out of their existence. Hair clicks.

Hair flicks. Hands left on the chin. Little likes. Little joy. Bare your cleavage on the timelines. The like buttons are yet to pop. Delete and repost. Shuffle round the house.

Stub your toe on the bedside. Vent your delirium. Close your eyes and let it stay shut to the phosphenes of little likes on your time-wasting and well curated post.

Suck your teeth and limp again. No likes again. One like. A thin smile. Sprawl in the cloudlet of despair. Rehash the posts again. Off. The persona in the above poem is a social media bug seeking validation through posts and then eventually slipped into sorrow while waiting for the likes on her pictures to pop up.


Chidinma in the poem, Samaritan, wrote about all human races as emanating from a source and how we should learn to live in peace and harmony. She enjoins the world to collaborate rather than compete – in order to find solutions to the perennial issues of the world. She decries the affectation of people trying to end medical issues in the globe but with no love for their humanity.


This highway has a cliff in its bend / these hills of isolationism leads nowhere / here is the aphorism from the silhouettes of Nostradamus / When it rains , it pours / when we gather , we grow stronger / the tides are dripping of blood and tears everyday / the Nile has become a nightmare / Libya is a scourge / the caravans of pursuit trapped in their own dreams of velvet darkness / The pacific is a morgue for wayward and unwelcomed dreams / Call the UN / Save the seeds of Africa from self-destruction / there are no wheat in manacles / Let us all wear the drapes of Mother Teresa / show mercy than judge / the beast of survival has no honor.


Angela has given us an eclectic collection of poems and we hope her dalliance with certain metaphors grabs a succulent muscle in the next collection of poems. This is definitely one of the finest collections held in a long time. This book is a must read in home and institutions.

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