Keath Silva talks about his second book of poetry TRANSformational poetry for rites of passage.
By Cole Goodwin
Transgender elder and healing arts practitioner Keath Silva has spent a lifetime transforming pain into healing.
And nowhere is this more apparent than in his newest poetry book King Crone and the Empty Nest, a collection of TRANSformational poetry for rites of passage which is now available on Bookbaby.com and Amazon.com or at your favorite online bookstore!
In his book, Los Angeles writer Keath Silva speaks openly about his gender transition, rites of passage as a trans person, bullying, parenting, aging, transformation and embracing authenticity.
Keath says writing King Crone and the Empty Nest “changed what felt like an impossible task and something that felt sad and scary into an epic journey that I could write about while it was happening,” says Keath.
Keath’s work reflects his life. And what a life it is, with its tall trees full of liberating intuition, claustrophobic high school hallways full of bullies and expectations, and the wisdom gained from living a trans experience. Keath’s poetry is a great companion to other older trans people who may be entering their King Cronehood; grieving the end of full time parenthood or other passionate focuses and reflecting on their lives and their identities.
“In our society, it’s often looked down upon to be older. But, in any culture that still has its wisdom intact, the elders are who you go to for guidance. They are revered and honored,” says Keath.
Keath himself has been a part of restoring the practice of honoring elders by leading crone initiation and honoring ceremonies.
So what does it mean to be a King Crone?
Coming into one’s King Crone-hood is a rite of passage.
It is the embodiment of both the masculine and feminine and stepping into wisdom, self-knowledge, and a call to leadership and community service that comes with growing older.
“For me, the King is an elder man who is really stepping into his wisdom, who is fierce for justice, for protection, and has a healthy divine masculine energy that supports and provides and nourishes. He is honoring his calling. And he may be tapping into his more intuitive side,” says Keath.
“Croning is also a time to shift attention from caretaking into a time of tending to your own inspired vision. It’s a time for looking within and discovering what that calling is deep inside and asking, what did I really come here to do? What is my spirit asking for? How can I nourish my creativity and come to a service that might have a wider reach? And the Crone is also related to learning to say no, and cultivating compassionate fierceness.”
“There’s often some element of spending more time alone in our older years and really getting to know ourselves and valuing that solitude; it's often a call to a bigger community service and holding space for those who are now walking in the steps that we walked in,” says Keath.
While the book is titled King Crone his book is not just for older trans people. It is also a book for cis people looking for a window into the trans experience.
And it is a book for young trans people.
For in this book, Keath steps into his role as King Crone, to light a lantern of hope for today’s trans youth, letting them know that there are trans elders in the world that stand beside them in their fight for their futures.
Indeed, young people have resonated with Keath’s poetry, and several have read his poems at school board meetings where anti-trans bathroom and locker room policies are being discussed.
“I’ve gotten so much feedback that my poetry resonates with people…If you can hear someone else describing an experience that you’re also having, there’s a relief that you’re not alone,” says Keath. “And there's a realization that there’s nothing wrong with me, there’s something wrong going on in the social structure around me.”
“Sometimes emotions can just be bottled up and we don’t know what they are, we just know we don’t feel quite right. Poetry names feelings in a way that our whole body, mind and spirit can receive. Comparing a feeling that we have, to something like a volcano, gives it an image and a name, describes it in a visceral way, so we can embrace it and move on” says Keath.
Keath also shared that while he hopes his book can help others, he ultimately writes because he enjoys creative expression as a healing modality and he wants to share that enjoyment and healing with others. To learn more about Keath’s healing practice and writing visit KeathSilva.org.
Check out more of Keath’s poetry by following the links: This Poetry Book is a Must Read for Trans Day of Visibility, and Five Must Read Poems for Trans Day of Visibility. Or take a deeper dive and listen to Keath Silva's Author talk on the CCCNews Podcast. (Available on Spotify and Youtube.) In the podcast, Keath reads poems from King Crone. He also speaks to how creative expression influences our health, his experience with misgendering, embracing authenticity, and shares advice for trans youth.