R. S. Thomas was never one to mince words. Thus, not surprisingly, his Christmas poems (several of which I have posted here previously) have a touch of Thomas's fierceness to them. But they also have an undercurrent of peace and serenity. (Again, not surprisingly. Thomas was not as much of a curmudgeon as he is sometimes made out to be. Yes, he often presents a fairly brusque and forbidding surface, but this often serves as a mask, I think.)
The following poem is an instance of what I am trying to describe: a bit of peace, a bit of serenity, even a whisper of love -- and a dose of fierceness for good measure. There is nobody quite like R. S. Thomas.
In front of the fire
With you, the folk song
Of the wind in the chimney and the sparks'
Embroidery of the soot -- eternity
Is here in this small room,
In intervals that our love
Widens; and outside
Us is time and the victims
Of time, travellers
To a new Bethlehem, statesmen
And scientists with their hands full
Of the gifts that destroy.
R. S. Thomas, H'm (1972).
"Christmas Tree Viewed Through Red Curtains" (c. 1952)