I’m writing a poem, and in one line I want to convey that:
You do not mean to cause offense. (So, your words have to be clean.)
Now, for the line to sound more poetic and lyrical, I rephrased it as:
Beware—you do not intend offense.
Is this grammatical? Even if it is, does it sound a bit awkward or unusual?
EDIT I think, you can’t intend (noun). But, you can intend to cause (noun).
Mark beat me to the punch with almost the same answer I was writing! I’d just back up his response about creative license and the flexibility (or downright slaughter) of grammar rules in poetry by pointing you towards another work, E.E. Cummings Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town.
Also, for what it’s worth, your sentence is technically okay grammatically because the subject of the sentence (You) is paired with a verb (intend) plus a simple helping verb phrase (do not). The noun ‘offense’ is an indirect object of your subject’s intent, written in a form that can mean either “offensiveness” (as you mean here) or a criminal violation (i.e. “You do not want to commit an offense”).
Anyhow, good luck with your poem!