A sample of state Sen. Catherine Pugh's verse

Frank Conaway Sr. made a splash in last week’s news cycle with his very own rap (hear it at conawayformayor2011.com), but he’s far from the only mayoral candidate with a thing for verse. In 2005, former City Councilmember and current state Sen. Catherine Pugh (D-40th District) self-published Mind Garden: Where Thoughts Grow, a book of her poetry. (If any other mayoral candidates want equal creative-writing time, e-mail us.)

The Politician’s Word . . .Can you take a politician at their word?
For what is said . . . May not be what you heard . . .
They can twist and turn and show concern . . .
But what they spoke could be a joke . . .
They think out loud and talk a lot . . .
But did they give what they said a thought . . .
And some times they even shout . . .
And no one knows what that’s about . . .
Some even say their words are their bond . . .
But that may only last till dawn . . .
They are leaders, and teachers . . . lawyers and preachers . . .
Thinkers and winkers . . . show boats and common folks . . .
Some think politicians . . .
Are much like magicians . . .
And some can be confused even as musicians . . .
Cause they can play you and even forget . . .
A promise they made or a commitment unkept . . .
They can disappear at the blink of an eye . . .
And all that was said . . . considered a lie . . .
But a word is a word and a meaning is given . . .
A politician uses them to make a living . . .
When speaking to a politician keep a dictionary by your side . . .
So their words won’t take you for a miscellaneous ride . . .
And when you find them twisting in the wind . . .
Remember their words . . . they easily bend . . .
They can embellish a statement . . .
Or turn it around . . .
And the words you heard . . .
Now have a different sound . . .
The truest politician learns how to serve . . .
And those are the ones you can take at their word . . .

ProvideI remember at the age of two sitting at my mother’s knees…
With a room full of books and the desire to read…
She placed us all seven at our separate desks…
And begun to teach us…as she knew best…
By three I had learned to read and write…
And was among the bright stars in my parents’ sight…
To me my parents were the smartest in the world…
There was never a question they couldn’t answer for their boys or girls…
Nothing we wanted to know was ever too trite or trivia…
As they pointed to the lettered World Book Encyclopedia…
And every time I would sit down and read…
I’d think how smart my parents must be…
Everything I'm reading they already know…
And now in me their knowledge they sow…
I’d smile inside with every encyclopedia page I turned…
And was thankful for parents who understood the need to learn…
It was not until I was older that I realized…
It was not what they knew it was their willingness to provide…

Inner City BeatCrowded, noisy, hyped inner city beat…
Pregnant teenagers, still in heat…
Children on corners, some planning crimes…
Stores selling loose cigarettes heaping up fines…
Sinners litter and clutter our streets…
Churches from every corner peek…
Stick-ups at the local grocery store…
Beggars going door to door…
Mothers’ screaming give me a break…
Fathers hustling…looking for work…
Who’s at fault…who’s to blame…
How do we change this screwed up game…

Cool You Say I Am…Cool…You say I am…
Hiding behind those dark shades, shadows and lies…
Clamoring when question of intimacy and past arise…
Cool…You say I am…
Walking erect…assured but tripping…
Over feelings and simple games…
Trying to be correctly postured…
By accepting all the blame…
Cool…You say I am…
Fearing rejection…No’s, stop and disappointing sighs…
Faking smiles, clutching pride, just trying to get by…
Cool…You say I am…
Wanting but not knowing how to say…I need…
So cool..I am…that inside I bleed…
Cool…You say I am…
Feet firmly planted…but anchored in tumbling sand
Blinding views…so no one sees who I really am…
Cool…You say I am…

ChangingYou change like the wind; you bend like a breeze…
You switch up sometimes in between a sneeze…
Every time I think I know you…you turn into someone else…
You’re like the different flowers that I oft place on my shelf…
Some require sunlight…others a dark room…
Each requires different…so nothing is assumed…
Sometimes as quickly as I can blink my eye…
You turn into someone I hardly recognize…
It’s scary when I trust you…and think you’ve got my back…
Only to learn later that even you will attack…

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