Leonie from St Andrew’s Hospital Ipswich organised a blanket drive for her local Rosies branch named after ‘Shoeshine Brian’, a homeless person she met and sat with in Sydney a couple of years ago.  Brian refused to beg, instead he would polish shoes and share stories with his customers. Leonie sat with Brian for a while. He touched  her soul and inspired her to write the poem below, in his memory. Brian passed away last year.

The blanket drive named after Brian was a huge success and brought many donations to our friends on the street in Ipswich. Thank you Leonie and the community at St Andrew’s Ipswich Hospital.

~ Brian ~ 31/05/15

Hey, I’m Brian…do you see me?
I’ll shine your shoes for you,
I’ll tell a story too…
Can you fling me a few cents to make my day?

Hey, I’m Brian…please notice me.
I’ll make it easy for you,
I don’t have to talk to you…
Will you help me so that I can make my way?

Hey, I’m Brian…I was a child once.
Nobody wanted my brothers or myself.
We were kind of put out on the shelf…
How come we didn’t even get a say?

Hey, I’m Brian…I’m down here.
Sitting cold here on the floor

Brian Rudd (1958-2017)

while you just shop for more…
Will you go back to your house upon the bay?

Hey, I’m Brian…I know I have a soul.
If you look, it’s with distaste
as though I’m some kind of waste…
If you sit with me I won’t make you stay.

Hey, I’m Brian…

© Leonie Cavenagh