HeadworX publishes Michael O’Leary’s The Ballad of the Triple Track

Saturday, March 19, 2022 by Mark Pirie

March 2022 sees the release of Michael O’Leary’s new poetry collection The Ballad of the Triple Track with a Foreword by New Zealand Poet Laureate David Eggleton.

“The Ballad of the Triple Track collects together all of Michael O’Leary’s poems written since the publication of his Collected Poems 1981-2016. O’Leary’s poems continue to show linguistic departures. Sonnets, tributes and ballads to friends and family and musical influences are complemented by two longer poems. The first, The Ballad of the Triple Track, was written on the Paekākāriki Escarpment Walk, while the closing longer poem Yradeceba, is a long meditation finding O’Leary at his punning Joycean-best and draws on a wide-reading knowledge forming a 21st century prayer for the times we live in.”

Here is a comment from David’s Foreword: “Without contraries there is no progression, wrote William Blake. Michael O’Leary’s poems are by turns bold, irreverent, winsome. A middle-of-the night housefire, an Australian bushfire, a wedding, a pandemic, the imminent destruction of a vast collection of old library books, birthdays, his father in prison: the whole of life is here. Indeed, the whole shaky motu is here, rattling like a line of train carriages: those old red rattlers pulled by a steam locomotive, the furnace of which is stoked by Michael’s exuberant word-play. Into your hands I commend this book, for the good of you and yours.”