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To the editor: My bathroom reading for the past several months has consisted mainly of two slim volumes of poetry by Vermont's own David Budbill; all honor to his name. I came across this one recently, titled "The Emperor":

Lao Tzu said flexibility and resilience

are what it takes to stay alive.

So why is the Emperor so spiteful and malicious?

Why does he go beating up on people

all the time?

Why do so many people have to suffer and die

just because the Emperor and his Imperial Court

have an idea?

President Biden has called Putin a war criminal and a thug. I couldn't agree more. He's a nasty, savage brute and I wish for his death. But now here's a second poem by Budbill, a couple of pages further on in the same book, and is titled, "February 13, 2003," a date I don't have to remind readers was on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq:

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This evening on the radio

the Emperor said that he

had not yet decided to order a war -

as if ordering a war

were something like

ordering a pizza.

I would argue that another war criminal and thug, equally culpable, is safely ensconced on his ranch — probably eating prime, grass-fed steaks from his own cattle — in Crawford, Texas.

Richard Evers

Brattleboro, March 22