POET Kevin Grant is celebrating this week after finally having his book of verses published after 62 years.

The former journalist launched Deeps and Shallows - Verse captions to a minor life, at Foyles Book Shop in London last month.

The 74-year-old who lives in Brunel Crescent is now hoping to release it in Swindon bookshops.

He said: "It was really a case of now or never.

"My writing has punctuated my life really and has never been a constant thing.

"I have dropped off my first copy at Swindon library and I'm hoping to launch it at Waterstones.

Mr Grant has written poetry since he was a schoolboy in the 1940s.

He threw himself into journalism and as a practising Catholic worked for religious publications The Universe and The Catholic Herald.

He said: "I have always been a journalist and only a passing poet writing verses here and there, scribbling away when I'm inspired.

"I have never sat down at a desk and set myself a target or writing three poems a day."

Deeps and Shallows is dedicated to Mr Grant's wife Maureen who died in 2004.

He said: "We had more than 40 years together and this is for her."

On page 37 is a poem about the loss of his wife called On the Death of my Maureen.

Mr Grant said: "Much of the book is written based on an emotional or thought-provoking event and that's the way it should be."

At the back of the book is a collection of limericks and rhymes called Nursery Versery written for his son James as a child.

Dotted among the poems are the author's memories of what the poem meant to him.

One, the Black Sheep Lullaby reads: No more songs, James, time to go to sleep.

You'll go to dreamland in a yellow Jeep'.

Mr Grant's note above the poems says: "Years later James told me that he used to wonder what a yellow Jeep was."

The book is available for £9.99 and is available to order in bookshops.

On the Death of my Maureen

I do. I will,

Shared Sacrament Divine,

Bone of my bone,

Two in one flesh; hers, mine.

But she, half flesh of mine

Is laid in earth

And I now half my flesh

Am half my worth.

The Dread in The Shed

There was a young fellow called Edward

Who feared that the Thing in the shed would

Spring out on his back

In a fearful attack

Hurting more than a smack on the head would.