The Lorkenborv Cathedral

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"The Lorkenborv cathedral" is a visionary poem by the Irish singer-songwriter Cohanna DeVail (born as Cohanna O'Hearne) which she wrote 1919, in the age of 22, one year after her marriage with Roy DeVail. According to her husband she wrote the poem's title in a rare local dialect which is only in use on Anglesey nowadays.

The poem[edit]

The Lorkenborv cathedral

In Twistlewood, in Storkensteen,
a large cathedral stood.
And all around there was to seen
a lot of stone and wood.

It was the church of Lorkenborv
which shone like hazel, bush and birch -
and with the surrounding did the church
perfectly blend and morph.

Alas, as was its mimicry
so perfect through and through
that, in a time of heresy,
nobody had a view.

And so, the building still does hide
beyond the green walls there
which grew so far and high and wide
that nobody would care.

But deep within cathedral's stones
now evil lurks and dwells.
Some hundred years and some more bones
are rising in the cells.

In Twistlewood, in Storkensteen,
a dark cathedral stood.
Its undead creepers, gray and mean
are not coming for good.

Interpretation[edit]

Places[edit]

  • Lorkenborv is a nom-de-plus for Lorkenborough, a place in York (England).
  • Storkensteen is a Shire in York.
  • Twistlewood is a small town in Storkensteen.

Plot[edit]

The possible dangers of summoning outer beings, rising the dead and meddling in forbidden sciences is a common literary topic of this time. The remarkable point here is that a church is the root of evil whereas in standard tales the church is fighting against just these forces.
Here, the reference to heresy gives a clue. In the middle ages, the label "heretic" was connected to nonconformist religious groups often easily. It might be that one of these groups turned to strange and general unknown methods to take revenge. What place could be better for them to hide than a forgotten church?

Creatures[edit]

According to modern knowledge, "undead creepers, gray and mean" is a fitting description for Ghouls. It is probable that they did feed among the dead by digging a tunnel to the nearby Twistlewood cemetery.

Reactions[edit]

Edwin Gallick II. founded "The Lorkenborv project" in 1932 "to find the fabled cathedral and to examine to potential dangers for mankind". He firmly believed that Roy DeVail's ancestors came from Storkensteen and were secretly cooperating with the powers underneath Lorkenborough. In 1935, when he had assembled 27 followers, he started "the expedition". Nine of his men were armed, two had photographic equipment, six drove the cars. The other ten were "open-minded scientists" (but among them were at least two reporters of the local press, as the "York Inquirer" found out later).
None of them were to be seen again.

These sad events resulted in a ascending interest of the media for Cohanna DeVail's songs and her background, too. Surprisingly Roy DeVail had vanished soon after the Lorkenborv expedition had started but returned injured some months later unwilling to make any comments of his whereabouts. The widows of the missing men tried to sue him in 1939 but the events of the beginning war made it impossible in the long run, especially further inquiries. Mentally growing instable, he committed suicide in January 1940.
1941, Cohanna DeVail wrote her last song "The war that broke the world".

Influences[edit]

The anti-glam-rock band "Kendrick and the moor people" 2009 made a song called "Lost in Lorkenborough" which is to be found at the third track of their second CD "Miriam - The Return of the Baroness". The songtext relates to the Lorkenborv project.

2011, a german computer game company made a first-person shooter game called "Return to Lorkenborough" in which the protagonist examines the surrounding area of Twistlewood. It combines some role-play elements like in "The Witcher" with heavy action elements as seen in "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl".