Poem: My Intentions Are Good

adrienne maree brown is an author, poet, and teacher of approaches to change. In her poem below, adrienne speaks to the openings we face daily between intention and reality, overwhelm and focus, despair and hope.


my intentions are good


my intentions are good

but the earth is on fire

and parts of me are running away

from the smoke billow

the way my skin looks burning

i am of a collective dying

praying for rebirth


i say yes to each task

but the stovetop sea boils

– do you hear the whales singing panic

as the ocean rages into new storm

the balance tilts into chaos?

all the normalcy agitates me

my pretense is broken


i set reasonable goals

as the news missiles towards me

nonsensical, hyperbolic, overwhelming

forever monday morning

amongst a people ignoring red flags

addicted to self-destruction

with a smile and a handshake


i set out, valiant

today will be a good day!

but the end of human history

is strewn in the road

and i tremor existential again

feeling so small, so tired

were we ever miraculous?


i get quiet

i listen for the labor of transition

here you are, here we are

we are not alone

we are the million doulas of awakening

spirit deep in this era

of delusion


we remember that grief is love

that our calling is not production but intervention

not performance, but deepest presence

and every birth is a ritual of precipice

so we bear down, and we wail

and once more

we push


About adrienne maree brown

adrienne grows healing ideas in public through her multi-genre writing, her music and her podcasts. Informed by 25 years of movement facilitation, somatics, Octavia E Butler scholarship and her work as a doula, adrienne has nurtured Emergent Strategy, Pleasure Activism, Radical Imagination and Transformative Justice as ideas and practices for transformation. She is the author/editor of several published texts, cogenerator of a tarot deck and a developing musical ritual.


This poem was originally published on https://adriennemareebrown.net.

Photo by Kathleen MacGregor on Unsplash.


Going Further:


About the Lead Author

adrienne maree brown
adrienne maree brownhttps://adriennemareebrown.net/
adrienne maree brown is a writer, editor, activist, social justice facilitator, coach, speaker, and doula. Her books include Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, which she wrote and edited, and Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements, which she co-edited.

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