Baggot St Suite: Five Punt Note

You have entered the Dublin vernacular:
not just the nun at the Herbert St. bus stop,
but there with the wordsmiths Yeats and Joyce
and the great feminine winsome Ireland
Cathleen ni Houlihan watermark.
Winsome enough yourself there,
an icon of grace in a world of mixed fortune,
the old religion on the new.
You who knew the power of the greatest Word
have become daily currency
for petrol and paper,
ordinary commodities of fish and bread
in shop and farmyard,
as well as grime and vice,
where the prostitutes linger not far from here,
down by the banks of the Grand Canal.

If only this money were mercy,
and the religion of commerce
made a daily currency of compassion and kindness
by which all would profit,
but especially the uninfluential,
the unaffluent and the desperate.
But sadly and gladly
Mercy is a currency minted solely
in the heart,
from the heart given
and from the heart received.

Since this was written the introduction of the Euro has superseded the Irish currency,
so sadly Catherine is no longer legal tender!

Mercy Heritage