Two on Tanka Tuesday - Christmas Eve Memories

Tanka TuesdayWeekly Poetry Challenge No. 255

Poet's Choice with a Twist

"…choose your own poetry form… This is our last Poet’s Choice for 2021… write a poem using a form of your choice about Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, and any festival or tradition you celebrate during the month of December"


Two takes on the same event, a tableau (6 lines, 5 syllables each line, word "tableau" used in title) and a reverse nonet.  My family would take an annual Christmas Eve drive to San Francisco to see the holiday lights on houses and boats in the Marina district.  We lived on the other side of the Bay Bridge, in what was then Walnut Creek (later incorporated into Lafayette).

Christmas Tableau

fog shrouds colorful

lights running up the 

masts of the sailboats

at the marina

in San Francisco

yearly pilgrimage


 Oh, How the Other Half Lived!



a time and

in a place not

very far away

we’d drive on Christmas eve

to see the holiday lights

from our suburbs to the city

across the Bay to the Marina


©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved

#poetschoice #tankatuesday



  1. I remember my Dad driving around Milwaukee when I was a kid so we could see all the holiday lights. It was a tradition every year. Your poem brought up some nice memories, Lisa. Thanks. <3

  2. riding around admiring the wonderland. I love it. thanks. Happy Holidays to you, Lisa. xo

    1. That's exactly it! A wonderland! Happy Holidays to you too.

  3. The lights reflecting off the water must be gorgeous. Beautiful poems. Happy Holidays.

    1. Yes, lights on water always are pretty. Thank you. Happy Holidays to you too.


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