Tuesday, October 06, 2009


The Bellhop from Hell (1978)

by John Evans, 1978

There used to be a fireplace
The biggest in the state
And of this giant fireplace
A story I'll relate.

It happened in the cold, cold autumn days
In the lodge at Crater Lake
During a time of year when storms
So constantly would break.

This fireplace kept the whole lodge warm
With flames that crackled higher
Than the highest bellhop ever got -
They brought logs in for the fire.

John was a slender, handsome lad
Who'd just turned twenty-one
He worked as a bellhop during that year
And always had his fun

One day the rain was pouring down,
Weather fine for frogs.
John saw the fire dying down -
He had to go get logs.

Well, John, now he hated the fireplace
He brought logs in with a frown.
He thought "I'll build this fire so high
It burns the whole place down!"

A fine, fine bed of coals was left,
The first log soon caught on,
And before he knew, the fire it grew...
His heart was full of song!

He brought in two, then three, then four,
And soon had piled on twenty -
The fire had smoked the whole room grey
With heat so full aplenty.

And John did laugh a demon laugh,
So far reversed from fear
Was he to see each tourist's eyes
From smoke so full of tears.

But then a log rolled out of the fireplace -
The carpet was a-blazing!
In smoky flames and burnt rubber fumes,
A sight so quite amazing!

Soon the curtains caught on fire,
And then the sofas too!
Just seconds passed, and John did laugh -
The lodge burned through and through!

Oh how he hated that fireplace,
But now it did his work!
"I'll go outside and watch it burn, "
He said with jolly smirk.

The entire structure burned quite fierce,
Fireplace and all...
And what was once a mammoth sight
Soon looked very small.

Three hours went by, the blaze it died
And John, he still looked on.
His eyes beheld a gift from Hell -
The whole lodge, it was gone -

But what he saw brought tears of rage
And caused him wracking pain -
Of all the things that should have burned...
Only the fireplace remained!

He thought "I see a gift from Hell,
I'll not wait 'til Hell freezes!"
So he found a sledge hammer in the smoking debris
And smashed the hearth to pieces.

In screaming fits his hammer fell,
Smashing every stone,
And though this fireplace was of Hell,
John made his dreams come home.

The world is full of pyros,
Who burn monuments for larks.
And John, he's still out there somewhere,
Burning lodges in National Parks.


Blogger J. Marquis said...

Wow, very impressive. A true Crater Lake legend.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

A legend in his own mind, maybe! Heh! Those were definitely fun days, anyway.

9:25 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Quite a poem and quite a story.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks, S.W. I am glad that only a couple of things in it are actually true: I did work at Crater Lake Lodge during the summer of 1978, and I didn't like tending the fire! Otherwise, it is purely fiction! 8-)>

7:03 AM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

Excellent. Really well done. I never liked tending fires either. Maybe that's why we don't burn wood anymore.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Yer busted :)

Nice poem. Makes me want to check out Crater Lake. I've been near it on Route 97 -- beautiful scenery all around there -- but never went inside the park.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

I love the poem. That was great. There aren't many poems I like these days!

3:18 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

Very nice. I can't say I've ever tended fires bigger than the usual, wimpy home-fires; but I will say I've done many things more fun. Can't imagine having to tend a big fucker like that.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

I grew up with fireplaces and fires, and even now, although we live in the deep south, when we bought our house, it had to have a fireplace. Every winter I get enough wood together for a about a dozen nice fires, we do get frost down here you know.

Saw the PBS series on National Parks, it included a large segment on Crater Lake National Park. Looked wonderful.

7:20 AM  

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