Book from Blog

I am extremely pleased to announce the launch of my new book, Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Living with Mortality.
It’s available on Amazon already although we’re still working on the descriptive material.

The book compiles most of the poems, essays, speeches, and other material from this blog, with new material. It is more an eclectic journal of my recent years than a memoir.

For the earlier posts, I was still touch typing. Now I struggle with my left thumb on my phone. But it’s all good. Thanks to endless help, support, and encouragement from my family, especially my sister and my wife, and many others, including readers in more than 85 countries, here is a dream come true.

If you do buy it, don’t forget to write a review on the Amazon page!


Here are some excerpted comments posted on the blog. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

– Michael, you are an amazing writer. This captured, with your typical grace, the battlefront you’re on and what that means. You continue to be an inspiration ….

– Michael – Thanks for the inspiration. When I think I’ve got too many challenges, I remember that an attitude of gratitude, along with acceptance, is the key to positive thinking. Amen.

–  Well said, my dear! I am so glad you soldier on tablet in hand–every campaign needs a good chronicle.

Such a lovely post, it just encapsulates the ups and downs of life.

Wow, Michael. For a guy who types with one finger, you did an amazing job here … Great post!

– So beautiful, Michael, I’ll return to it again and again. Thank you.

– Gorgeous and timely.

– Your grace, strength and dignity are both amazing and inspiring.

– Spoken from the heart, and you have a very big heart, Michael! Your heart is far bigger than the ALS.

– What a fantastic blog!! Thanks for spreading happiness!!

– I read your autobiography and I was amazed by the things you have accomplished and continue accomplishing. How do you find the courage and stamina to keep going? Wow! I will continue checking your blog as I find it very enriching. I wish your life continues full of love and happiness. You are an inspiration!

– Your poetry is beautiful and I wish you the best!

– Your website is beautiful and inspiring. Sending love.

It brought tears to my eyes how you know you are part of nature. How we all are part of nature. Comforting and deeply beautiful. Thank you for your wisdom.

– A world of wonder, and endless inspiration.

– A fine series of metaphors and flowing sounds for the sense of a generous and growing self connected (by e.g. vapor, reflection, heat, spark, intent, sound, mind, attitudes and actions) to a greater other. Not easily conceived or sustained, but the short lines make it all possible! Congratulations!

– Lovely imagery!

– Magnificent Michael. Thanks for the reminder to be still and listen.

– So wondrous. We are all cherry blossoms, seems like. You are among my cherry blossoms, Michael. That, too, is all I need.

– What a lovely poem. Really, just lovely.

– I love this poem and I am very honored, proud and happy to be a part of you.

Curable sickness

Curable sickness
Michael Gollin
January 2013

Pinch — the Amazon rubber boots don’t fit,
rubbing raw my little toe,
and infection comes to visit.
Ssss — that smarts until
good shoes and Neosporin on Band-Aids
let new skin grow well.

Ouch — my head will explode in the high vacuum of Cusco,
massaging throbbing temples at Pachapapa.
Take water and Diamox until
next day Eureka — I’m good to go.

Ohh — my bowels turn to liquid for a day,
my life runs out, I faint,
then revived, drink and eat water and toast.
¿Donde está el baño?
Four bowls of chicken soup
(quinoa, noodle, potato and egg)
make me hungry and then
Wow — this beer tastes good.

Cough– the cold from Steve then Jim
tickles my throat and then my nose runs fast.
Sudafed early and Benadryl late,
tissue wiping and hand washing.
Then I sleep dry without drugs.
Oh it’s great to be healthy.

Forgot sunscreen in the Andean haze,
so my head is red and sore.
It peels and peels some more.
Flakes of skin fall off.
Fresh skin looks nice!

A disease can be a gift,
once you find a cure.
Bang your head against the wall
then stop to feel good for sure.


We Will See

We will see
Peruvian Amazon, January 5, 2013

We drive from Puerto Maldonado
on dirt to Infierno
with bridges incomplete,
optimism measured in rebar and towers of concrete,
but yet no help to cross the creeks.
Big van tires tread over gapped worn planks.
Will they be there when we come back?
Says Julian, “We will see.”

In the wooden canoe sit a dozen of us and half again more,
luggage in back with 75 horsepower.
Captain stops mid-river and grabs another boat, adrift,
Rescues two ladies, 3 girls, and dreadlocked ecologist who fill our benches.
The story unfolds over days –
drunk captain, drunk passenger tipping boat, engine stopped and wouldn’t start.
Our rescuees come to Posada Amazonas for further help.
Drunks left in a canoe on the Amazon’s Tambopata river, at dusk –
We will see.

Mosquito nets and hurricane lamps,
Lights out at 9. Early to bed and up at 4.
Oxbow birds – stinky and Anis, striated heron and neotropical cormorant
White-throated toucan, and guan.
Piranhas, tiny sharp-toothed nimble to nibble the meat from our hooks.
Then, juices of copuasu, papaya, and sweet cucumber to eat.
Luis shinnies up and tosses down wild cacao fruit,
yellow skin, white jelly, says the seeds taste bad.
But I eat them, delicious, pure chocolate.
What is for lunch? We will see.

Dozens of scarlet Macaws flutter and peck up river bluff clay.
We see them from a blind, but not they.
A parade of leafcutter ants carrying green bits, and manager ants on their backs,
Loading the nest with food for the fungus they eat.
A tribe of monkeys – a second, a third – jumping through the jungle, cackling to each other.
The shaman’s farm, with ayahuasca and pari pari to make us stand up and wait.
A night walk with headlamps –what’s out there in the dark with the stars?
We will see.

At the farm, 2 women sit on the living room floor
2 feet above the hens and puppies.
And repair Stihl weedwhackers.
The rain clears and the husbands buzz the papaya field,
The first cash crop (after tourists) for a subsistence farm,
Bananas, sugar cane, rice and corn, peppers and pudding fruit/soursops
supplement the jungle foods.
How many of their 30 hectares will they use?
We will see.

Siblings by blood and marriage, nephew and niece,
we enjoy the adventure in animals, trees, water and land,
food and sights and deeds, and words – Please, just listen.
We are a family saga, a journey of love through many lives,
ours and those before.

Our threads are thin in geological time,
against the Andes’ crash and rise and exploding thrust,
the patient river swirling brown silt down Amazonian meanders.
But we weave a mighty rope.
Where will it end? Where will we?
We will see.