poet Howard Simon

Howard Simon

Who Locked The Boys Out?

Once I saw some boys
Outside a gate
They had come to school
But they were very late
Everywhere was closed
All about
It caused me to wonder
Who locked the boys out?


I saw a group
On the outside
It was graduation day
But they had come to play
The girls were inside ready to go
But for the boys it was not so
They were outside walking all about
I asked who locked the boys out?


I observed some boys
Wasting their lives away
For them
Life was only about play
In school they refused to learn
Diminishing their ability to earn
Their decisions caused them to loose their clout
Tell me, tell me who looked the boys out?

I noticed a gang
At the corner of a street
They had gathered together
There to meet
Only profanity
Came out of their mouth
I asked the question
Who locked the boys out?


I found some lads
In a prison cell
Who confided in me
That they were living in 'hell'
They longed to be flourishing and free
Instead they were chained in misery
Staked out in a desert's deadly drought
Will somebody please tell me who locked the boys out?


Too many boys all around the world
Are on the outside looking in
Reaping the harvest
Of their fathers sin
Some are tying to get in
But their chances seem so slim
So I ask with a serious, solemn shout
Who locked the boys out?

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Poem Edited: Monday, July 4, 2011

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Comments about Who Locked The Boys Out? by Howard Simon

  • Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin (9/24/2018 7:57:00 PM)

    Imposition of penalties sometimes severe will lead them to be hardened criminals.
    Punishment in some cases will bring demoralization.
    Reformation must be undertaken instead to give them a better tomorrow.
    Very well written and on to my Poem List.10++++

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  • Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin (9/24/2018 7:41:00 PM)

    A powerful write on a very important social issue.
    The youth are the hope of our land.
    They should be well taken cared of and nurtured.
    They shall be afforded with opportunities necessary for their development both physically and mentally
    and in some cases morally.

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  • Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan (5/22/2018 10:14:00 PM)

    An excellent poem that shows your empathy for 'the boys locked out'. I loved to read all the comments put before mine, and appreciate many of those that clearly came from thoughtful minds.
    The poem poses a question that needs to be addressed squarely, by all the stake holders of the society.
    Rated maximum,10/10.

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  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (2/24/2018 9:08:00 PM)

    ) Punishment is not the remedy for an errant child.Rather we should look into the factors that are responsible for his behavior.While poverty, lack of education, unemployment, disturbed family, unhealthy social atmosphere are some of the factors that waylay a child to go on a wrong path.Politicians, state administrators, educationists, psychologists should make combined effort to solve the problem.

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  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (2/24/2018 9:07:00 PM)

    Who locked the boys out? It is really a serious social issue that must be addressed urgently by going into the root of the problem.Children are the future of the world.They should get proper education, love and care to flourish.(contd)

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  • Richard Wlodarski (7/29/2017 1:30:00 AM)

    Howard, I love all of your poetry. But the poems that I've read were different from this one. This one moves away from your theme of positivity to social commentary. And just like with your other poems, your brilliance shines. All the right words and images are there. The repetition of Who locked the boys out is both brilliant and stunning. It leaves the reader with a permanent imprint. This poem would make a great song. An even more permanent imprint would be made. Congratulations on a truly excellent poem! ! !

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  • Subhas Chandra ChakraSubhas Chandra Chakra (5/2/2016 3:15:00 AM)

    Too many boys all around the world
    Are on the outside looking in
    Reaping the harvest
    Of their fathers sin
    Some are tying to get in
    But their chances seem so slim
    So I ask with a serious, solemn shout
    Who locked the boys out?

    Beautiful verse and nice theme covering the social problem as a whole.
    Liked the repetition who...out.10 for such a poem of topic.Subhas

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  • Nosheen IrfanNosheen Irfan (2/1/2016 3:11:00 AM)

    What a well-crafted poem. Who locked the boys out...this question is far more significant than the reader might think at first read. That's the tragedy of this world..it's heart-rending to see people going the wrong way. There are many factors that are responsible for it..from our own attitude to the apathy of society. Whatever, you have posed a serious question that deserves to be answered.

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  • Hazel DurhamHazel Durham (6/21/2015 10:58:00 AM)

    Great wisdom in this superb write everybody deserves a chance in this life!

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  • Lyn PaulLyn Paul (5/29/2015 11:07:00 PM)

    Wow, I have revisited these words. Just brilliant.

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  • Patricia GranthamPatricia Grantham (4/3/2015 8:40:00 PM)

    A superbly written poem. These boy that were locked
    out may have been unruly, untrained or suffering some
    kind of disturbance. Yet there is hope for them somewhere.

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  • * Sunprincess * (12/23/2014 8:04:00 PM)

    ........if only the boys meant the world to their fathers....then their life could be very different......great write, awesome poem..

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  • Lyn PaulLyn Paul (7/19/2014 6:59:00 PM)

    Excellent Words and one too save. Fortunately there is great support out there for our youth yet not all like to accept this. Thank You Howard

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  • Jessica LockhartJessica Lockhart (1/2/2014 12:17:00 PM)

    Thank you for writing. I love your poems

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  • Susan LacovaraSusan Lacovara (12/27/2013 9:49:00 AM)

    Very topical write... it is despairing and disturbing, that so many are indeed locked out, unaware that there are doors of opportunity, to be opened...sadly, they are often left on the outside, looking in, be it by their own poor choice, or through no fault if their own, save circumstance...who, indeed, holds the key to change their destiny? Amazing poem! PEACE

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  • Mohammed AlbalushiMohammed Albalushi (1/9/2011 11:29:00 PM)

    Yes, Who locked the boys out? very interesting poem

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  • Elena SanduElena Sandu (6/29/2010 3:08:00 AM)

    An interesting poem, at first I just smiled, thought of kids wanting to be original not keen to follow rules wich sometimes can lead to greatness.. but as continues becomes serious and sad, trully sad..I could cry for those boys..10

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  • Anjali Sinha (6/22/2010 8:03:00 AM)

    Howard-I like the sing song style of your poem
    the lyrics are great-maybe we can sing it together..
    now you tell me -Who locked the Boys Out?
    ...10 anjali

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  • Chantal Gumbs (4/4/2010 11:13:00 PM)

    Sometimes we really have to ask ourselves 'Who Locked the Boys Out'? ?
    I like the way you brought it across, clever yet powerful! !

    Another one of my faves! !

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  • Miranda Will (3/8/2010 10:35:00 AM)

    It has a nice ring to it.
    ~Randi Williamson

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