November sees the publication of Michael O’Leary’s new CD Livin’ ina Aucklan’, following on from Fences Fall, the 2011 CD of Michael’s lyrics set to music by local Kapiti Coast musicians.


Livin’ ina Aucklan’: songs of the city by Earl of Seacliff’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Title: Livin’ ina Aucklan’

Artist: Earl of Seacliff’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Michael O’Leary et al]

Price: $20.00

Format: CD

Publication: November 2015

Publisher: ESAW Sounds Division

Distributor: PowerTool Records, Auckland


About the CD

The CD includes Michael O’Leary’s Auckland poems of the city, set to music by a number of musicians/collaborators: Brian Romeril, Gilbert Haisman, Sean O’Leary, Al Whitham, Hilda Prasad, and others.

Michael’s O’Leary’s new CD Livin’ ina Aucklan’ in conjunction with a number of contributing artists/musicians is to be launched in Auckland and Paekakariki.

See below for details for these events:

In Paekakariki, Friday 13 November 2015:


Paekakariki celebration of Livin’ ina Aucklan’

and up in Aucklan’, Friday 27 November 2015:


Auckland launch for Livin’ in Aucklan’

On Saturday, 24 October 2015, Michael O’Leary’s new book Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems was launched in tandem with David McGill’s The Death Ray Debacle.

The launch was held at the Paekakariki Station Museum.

A report appears on Beattie’s Book Blog:


The Paekakariki Arts Walk was opened on Sunday 30 August 2015.

Michael O’Leary appeared at the opening and blessing for the project. Michael, a significant local artist, is included in the walkway with his poem ‘Track Gang & Shunters at Paekakariki’ .


Michael’s poem included in the Paekakariki Arts Walk

Here’s a link to the website about the project:


Micheal O’Leary speaking at the opening of the Paekakariki Arts Walk, 30 August 2015

Michael O’Leary’s collected railway poems Main Trunk Lines has been released through HeadworX Publishers in Wellington. Copies of the new paperback edition can be ordered direct from HeadworX, email: See information and details on the book below:

New Book Information from HeadworX

Title: Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems
Author: Michael O’Leary
Editor: Mark Pirie
Release: September 2015
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-473-32917-4
Extent:  80 pages
Category: NZ Fiction
Format: paperback
Publisher: HeadworX

About the Book

Michael O’Leary’s new book is the first to collect his entire oeuvre of New Zealand railway poems.

Spanning over 30 years of his writing, it runs the length of the railway in Aotearoa and depicts many of the country’s railway stations and towns.

The central poem of the book is O’Leary’s sequence Station to Station, a cognac dedicated to the rock artist David Bowie.

Mark Pirie writes in the foreword: “Michael’s poems take the reader on their own rail journey, stopping from station to station and recording the life and times of the people and places around them. But the train can also be a metaphor for life, the great journey we are all part of which encompasses both love and death. There’s no stopping for long with Michael, as the next train arrives and the next journey awaits.”

O’Leary’s well-known love of all things rail led him to become a trustee for the Paekakariki Station Museum after he settled on the Kapiti Coast in the 1990s. He currently operates Kakariki Bookshop next to the Paekakariki Station Museum.

‘I don’t know of any living New Zealand writer who is a bigger railway enthusiast.’ – Iain Sharp, Sunday Star-Times

About the Editor

Mark Pirie is a New Zealand poet, editor, writer and publisher. Website:


Cover photo by W W Stewart, A P Godber collection, Turnbull Library

Michael O’Leary has published a booklet edition of Dr Tony Taylor’s 1964 New Zealand conversations with Beatle John Lennon. See below for book details. Copies can be ordered from Michael direct:

New book information

Title: Tony Taylor in Conversation with John Lennon

Authors: Tony Taylor with Michael O’Leary [Lennon poem tribute]

ISBN  978-1-86942-153-3

Price: $25.00

Extent: 40 pages

Format: 148mmx210mm

Publication: February 2015

Publisher: Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop

About the Book

Dr A.J.W. (Tony) Taylor is an Emeritus Professor of Pyschology at Victoria University of Wellington. He was the first professor of clinical psychology in the British Commonwealth, and is the author of over 300 publications, including his memoir Cockney Kid: the Making of an Unconventional Psychologist (Silver Owl Press, 2006). He became interested in the mass hysteria that The Beatles generated, and used the topic in 1964 as a class-exercise to get some facts when the ‘fab-four’ performed in Wellington during the eight-day tour of New Zealand.

Two interviews with Lennon he did in 1964 are in the book.

Curiosity around the 50th anniversary of the visit led him recently to search the journals for results of comparable studies that other psychologists might have made. His foray drew a blank, despite the huge social upheaval The Beatles had caused wherever they went. Disappointment encouraged him to restate the need for others to take up the study of mass-hysteria. Apart from the intrinsic value of the topic in today’s manipulative world, he is still keen to validate his results with those that other researchers might obtain with fans of contemporary musical groups.

Dr Michael O’Leary is a poet, artist and novelist, who, in his 2014 autobiography Die Bibel (ESAW), discussed the effect that The Beatles and particularly John Lennon had on his own decision to become an artist in whatever form that took in his life. After gaining his PhD in literature in 2011 he worked with a number of musicians to transform his poems into songs, thus bringing his writing and artistic career full circle. O’Leary’s poem tribute written after the death of Lennon concludes the book.


The Beatles at Wellington Airport during their New Zealand tour. Hill, Morris James, 1929-2002: Negatives of Wellington, and national events and personalities. Ref: 1/4-071857-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.


In the spirit of the Beatles who put out a Christmas record for their fans, Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, the Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) and HeadworX offer to you, our friends and clients, this small token for your enjoyment.

Poems on football and cricket, Aztec Pyramids, the art of poetry, historical 19th century verse and an excerpt from Michael O’Leary’s recently published autobiography Die Bibel.

Contributors: Michael O’Leary, Rowan Gibbs, Harry W Emmet, F. W. Nielsen Wright, and Mark Pirie.

Download and view the free pdf of this book (file size 766KB):


Michael O’Leary recently contributed his drawing of Northern Irish footballer George Best (above) and a poem on the 1967 Manchester United visit to New Zealand to a special football issue of broadsheet: new new zealand poetry.
The issue edited by fellow poet/publisher Mark Pirie comprises a selection of football poetry from 1890-2014, focusing mainly on New Zealand football by New Zealand poets.

Others who’ve contributed include Gary Langford, Harry Ricketts, James Brown, John Gallas, John Dickson, Bill O’Reilly, Grant Sullivan, Harvey Molloy, Tim Jones, Dylan Groom and Pirie himself. Former New Zealand All White Michael Groom has written the foreword.
The Night Press, Wellington, has published the special issue to coincide with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It will be available from May online as a free download pdf as well as in a limited print edition. Website:

Here is Michael’s poem:

Michael O’Leary


In 1967 the football club Manchester United played a game
Against an Auckland Eleven they were expected to tame
And although they did in the end win eight goals to one
Seeing ‘The Beatles’ of the football world was great fun

For as a teenager I had always preferred the round ball code
Rather than the rugger that ‘everybody else’ in New Zealand chose
And watching the ‘Beautiful Game’ in that ‘Summer of Love’
Brought music and sport together as if to finally prove

That a show in front of more than 26,000 at Carlaw Park
Watching Soccer could be like a rock concert where the spark
Of enthusiasm is ignited by an ultimate, primal, human desire

To belong, as in olden days when people gathered around a fire
Thus, the world’s most famous and celebrated sport was seen
In Auckland at a time of love and music and the world of dream

DB NZ Soccer Annual 1975
: ‘Manchester United came to New Zealand, hammered both its opponents [Auckland 8-1 and NZ 11-0] and introduced soccer supremo George Best to the country. That United team had all the stars: Best, Charlton, Law, Stiles, Stepney, Aston, Foulkes, Crerand, Kidd … the list seemed endless.’ Charlie Dempsey was the director of tours for the NZFA and the AFA.

In the spirit of the Beatles who put out a Christmas record for their fans, Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, HeadworX Publishers and the Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa (PANZA) would like to offer to you, our friends and clients, this small token for your enjoyment. Poems on All Black Kieran Read, retired NZ cricketer Chris Martin, pop hero John Lennon, the Wahine disaster, Christmas, cricket and more.

The cover artwork is by Michael O’Leary and features mythological Maori hero Maui controlling the sun.

You can download the free ebook from this website:


sherratt cover

Title: Polynesian Legends

Author: A. Stanley Sherratt

Publisher: Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop/HeadworX Publishers

Release: November 2013

Price: $15.00

ISBN: 978-1- 86942-141-0

Extent: 44 pages

Category: NZ Poetry

Format: paperback

Cover art: Māui controlling the sun by Michael O’Leary, 2013

About the Book

Polynesian Legends

A. Stanley Sherratt’s powerful early sequence of Māori myths/legends has remained unpublished since 1924, when it was first serialized in the Christchurch Star.

Discovered in 2013 by editor Mark Pirie who has republished the text, this new publication includes an introduction by Māori literary scholar Dr Michael O’Leary, giving details of Sherratt’s life along with a brief history of Aotearoa legend telling in English.

About the Author

A. Stanley (Sherry) Sherratt b. 1891 was a Canterbury Railways clerk/official. He was educated and grew up in Kaiapoi, and afterwards spent much of his working life in Christchurch. Railways posted him to a number of places outside of Christchurch, including Invercargill, Greymouth and Kaiapoi from where he published his Polynesian Legends sequence.

During WWI, he served as a probationary officer in the territorial forces, Corps of New Zealand Engineers, New Zealand Railways Battalion (South Island).

Sherratt published the bulk of his poetry in the ChristchurchStar newspaper 1923-24, and was part of the Star group of poets 1922-26.

Stan Sherratt later retired to Nelson with his family.

Note: This is a joint publication between Earl of Seacliff and HeadworX.

You can download and view a free ebook version here:

Sample Poems:


Out in the west see the clouds swiftly massing;
Feel the chill sting of the wind that is passing;
Hear the wild gulls as they wheel in the sky,
Warning us mortals with dolorous cry.
God of the tumults, Tāwhirimatea,
Father of storms, with destruction, is near
Seeking anew his great vengeance of old,
Smiting his brothers with tempest and cold.

Dark is his face in the sky with his wrath
Flashing, his eye, as the lightning springs forth—
Threat’ning and deep comes the thunder, his voice—
Shrieking, the winds, in their mad flight rejoice.
Great is the pow’r of the God of the storm;
Awful, his wrath, in its terrible form,
Wreak’d on his brothers for tearing apart
Rangi and Papa, those dear to his heart.


Up ’mid the tow’ring mountains
  White with snow,
Up where the swirling white mists
  Softly flow,
Up ’mid the dark cold peaks and
  Caverns deep—
Goddess of Death was lying,
  Fast asleep.

None had her cold dominions
  Ever sought,
None to her gloom steeped boundaries
  Had been brought,
Never was need for her at
  Watch to keep—
Nothing disturb’d her long and
  Peaceful sleep. 

Up from the world below
  To this white realm of snow,
Māui came stealthily
  To conquer Death;
Sturdy and bold was he,
  And from all fear was free—
He would fight fearlessly
  To his last breath.

Goddess of Death awoke,
  Ere Māui made the stroke
That would have freed mankind
  From Death’s great pow’r.
Māui was slain instead,
  First of the sacred dead;
Honoured and great was he
  To his last hour. 

Up ’mid the tow’ring mountains
  White with snow,
Up where the swirling white mists
  Softly flow,
Up where the dark cold peaks are
  Headstones all—
Goddess of Death sleeps not, but
  Waits for all.

Poems © A. Stanley Sherratt