A Toast to Michael Gollin

Here is a song my friend Richard Morris wrote and sang for me at my sixtieth birthday party. L’chaim to him, and l’chaim…to life!

A Toast to Michael Gollin
Words by Richard Morris

Born in 1957-2017 (so far)

6-3-17 Sixty years old

(To the tune of “To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof)
A toast to Michael Gollin
To Michael A. Gollin, a toast
He is a Renaissance Man
Never an also-ran…
Drink l’chaim to Mike

To Mike the patent lawyer
For pharmies and biotech firms
A Georgetown Business professor yay
wrote the book on IPA…
Drink l’chaim to Mike

His pro bono work on Intel property led him to many foreign lands
And to found a public interest org to help so many others understand

To Mike, the dad and husband
His legacy lives on and on
Through Jill his beloved wife,
Natasha, Max and Julia…
Drink l’chaim to Mike

To Mike the bold explorer
Hauled his kin to foreign lands
The Galapagos Islands and
Kruger Safari Park…
Drink l’chaim to Mike

And down into the Everglades
And rafting the Canyon Grand
Down the Peruvian Amazon
And up Machu Pichu mountaintop…
Drink l’chaim to Mike

Then he changed into a blogger with poetry and stories for all of us to read
And poured them into Innovation, Life, and Love about Mortality

“Play the cards you’re dealt!” he wrote
And “I am a lucky man”
Remember,“You’re not alone.”
And “We’re not alone” and…
Drink l’chaim to Mike!

Not Dead Yet with two lost stanzas

I wrote Not Dead Yet in spring 2013 during an especially dark period in a difficult stretch of time, when I suddenly saw the beacon rays of hope. As I wrote more and more stanzas I felt torrents of defiant optimism coursing through me.

I let it sit a while and then reorganized stanzas and worked on turning it into a song. Somehow we ended up with two songs. Both versions were performed at my raucous 57th birthday party in July 2014. Son Max turned it into a ballad. Friend Mike Guerreri arranged it as an upbeat anthem which his band, Long Time Coming, has since played at many gigs.

Then I finalized the poem version and posted it in November 2013.


Along the way I somehow decided to drop two stanzas. I went looking for the first one below after hearing Natasha and Max sing for me last weekend when both were home. All three kids were blessed with their mother’s voice and they sound beautiful together.

The second stanza feels poignant for me, having just passed three years from my definitive diagnosis.

Fortunately I saved old drafts and so here they are, the two lost stanzas, two years later. They would fit at the end of section 2 of the poem, or elsewhere. Click the link to the original, and you decide.


When I hear you sing your solos
And harmonious duet
The song could last forever,
‘cause I’m not dead yet.

I learned the most important thing
With my disease onset
No one lives forever,
But I’m not dead yet.

Yes! We’re not dead yet.


Infinite Art

Infinite Art
Michael Gollin

I live in a painting
Of infinite detail.
Green leaves gray bark
Blue sky white clouds
Washed in yellow sun rays.

I inhabit a sculpture garden
Of massive dimensions.
Tree trunks railings
Walls and doors.

I sit in a song
Of endless variety.
Bird cricket frog wind
Cars trucks jets
A train a dog a voice my breath.

My skin is caressed
with loving touch.
A breeze, the sun, raindrops.
My clothes embrace me.
I am at peace —
a piece of the art of the world.


I’d Rather Be Running

I’d Rather Be Running
-Running Song
(mentioned in http://www.innovationlifelove.org/2013/04/01/running-for-life-the-running-song/)
August 2012
Music and Lyrics by Michael Gollin


Life is glory
When I go running
Nature flowing
Me striding by.

Rythmic breathing
All is in motion
Legs propelling
Heart keeping time.

Trees and bunnies
Witness my rapture
With my memories
I’m never alone.

Moving forward
Along my chosen pathway
Then turning ‘round
I run home again.